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'Pat-down search of Meera unacceptable'

December 09, 2010 14:07 IST

Terming as "unacceptable" Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar being subjected to a 'pat-down' search at an airport there, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Thursday said the matter will be taken up with the American government.

Noting that there are well-established conventions and practices as to how members of the diplomatic community should be treated, Krishna said such an incident has taken place for the second time in the last three months.

"This is unacceptable to India and we are going to take it up with the US government and I hope things could be resolved so that such unpleasant incidents do not recur," the minister told media persons.

When asked if a report has been sought from the US, he said, "There are various procedures through which we take it up with government of the US."

Shankar was pulled from an airport security line on December 4 and patted down by an American security agent in Mississippi despite being told of her diplomatic status.

The incident took place at the Jackson-Evers International Airport where sari-clad Shankar was about to board a flight to Baltimore after attending the Mississippi State University's programme.

Shankar presented her diplomatic papers to officers and was escorted by a Mississippi Development Authority representative and an airport security officer, but witnesses said she was subjected to the hands-on search.

In the past, many prominent Indians, including ministers, have faced some uncomfortable moments at US airports.

In September, visiting Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel was quizzed by US immigration authorities at the O'Hare airport in Chicago after his name and date of birth matched with that of another Praful Patel, who is on America's watch-list.

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