New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday asked the Rajasthan and Delhi Police to take all possible steps to deal with any law and order situation arising out of a possible visit of controversial writer Salman Rushdie to take part in the Jaipur Literature Festival.
    
The Home Ministry advisory asked the two police forces to remain alert and deploy adequate forces in all sensitive locations to deal with any situation and protests that may be staged if Rushdie turns up in the country in the next few days, official sources said.
   
The issuance of the advisory is an indication that the writer may turn up in the country to attend the literary meet.   

The advisory was issued a day after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot conveyed to Home Minister P Chidambaram that the writer's visit was being resented by the local people, and could lead to trouble.
   
The organisers of the festival said they stand by their invitation to the 'Midnight's Children' author.
   
A revised schedule of the five-day literary gathering and its sessions made no mention of Rushdie's appearance. However, the author figures in the list of speakers.
   
Sources said the government has the option of restricting Rushdie's travel in the country after assessing the law and order situation.
   
The festival organisers came out with an ambiguous statement, leaving everyone guessing.
   
"Salman Rushdie will not be in India on 20th January due to a change in his schedule. The festival stands by its invitation to Mr Rushdie," festival producer Sanjoy K Roy had said.

The announcement of Rushdie's visit to the popular festival had invited the wrath of India's top Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, which asked the government not to allow him on the ground that he had hurt sentiments of Muslims in the past.
   
Following this, Rushdie had taken to micro-blogging site Twitter to say that he did not require a visa to visit India as he held a PIO card.
   
Gehlot also had said that Rushdie was a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and the government cannot prevent him from coming to India. Nor can it offer any advice to the organisers.
    
The author has come under attack for his alleged blasphemous content in his novel "The Satanic Verses" which was published in 1988.
   
The novel, which was banned by India, had sparked outrage in the Muslim world. A fatwa was issued against him by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, on
February 14, 1989.

(Agencies)