You are here: Rediff Home » India » News » PTI
Get news updates:What's this?
Search: The Web
  Discuss  |    Share with friends  |    Print  
  Ask a question  |    Get latest news on your desktop

Continental Airlines served show cause notice over frisking Kalam
Related Articles
Kalam frisked by American airline at New Delhi airport
July 21, 2009 14:29 IST

Taking a serious note of the "unpardonable" act of frisking of former President A P J Abdul Kalam at the Indira Gandhi [Images] International Airport in New Delhi [Images], the government has slapped a show cause notice to the US-based Continental Airlines for violating guidelines.

"Not only the preliminary inquiry has been ordered but we also have a preliminary report on the basis of which Continental Airlines has been issued a show cause notice why action for wilful violation should not be taken," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel [Images] said the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Patel was responding to the anguish expressed by the entire House, including Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, over

the "humiliation" meted out to the Bharat Ratna, whom they described as the tallest figure and a national hero.Kalam was frisked by the Airlines at the embarkation point some time back when he was going to the US.

Associating himself with the strong sentiments expressed in the House during Zero Hour, Patel said, "this act of frisking the former President is absolutely unpardonable and beyond the scope of laws of our country". Patel said he would not only take action against the Airlines, but also speak to the Minister of External Affairs on the issue.

Responding to Left members' demand that the operation of Continental Airlines be suspended immediately, he said any action that India takes would be in consonance with international practice. "We cannot take action in isolation". He said the airports security is handled by the Central Industrial Security Force and frisking happens only at the embarkation point, manned by the airlines staff. "I can assure the House, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security will take most stringent action," Patel said, adding that he would "personally explain the position and express regret to Kalam".

Patel said while India accords the highest protocol to foreign dignitaries, it expected the same from them. Demanding a probe into the incident, Sitaram Yechury [Images] of the Communist Party of India-Marxist wondered whether the frisking had anything to do with the name Abdul Kalam [Images]. He said if that is so, it is "much more serious". Taking serious note of the incident, the Deputy Chairman said "I hope government will take action".

Terming the incident as "outrageous", Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley [Images] said "It is an issue which puts the whole nation into shame". Jaitley said whenever a foreign dignitary visits the country, the government sends a vehicle to the tarmac andprovides exemption from security rules, but Indian dignitaries and former ministers are frisked. He asked whether the government would look into this policy. Janeshwar Mishra of the Samajwadi Party said the government should send astrong message to the US that India will not tolerate such incidents. "This is an act of ill-intention and we will not tolerate it at any cost," he said, warning that after all US former Presidents also visit India.

© Copyright 2009 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
  Discuss  |    Share with friends  |    Print   |    Ask a question  |    Get latest news on your desktop

© 2009 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback