The departure of a Malaysian Airlines flight, MH-0183 to Kuala Lumpur, was delayed by nearly half an hour on Thursday at the Chennai airport.

The delay occurred as Prema Madhu Palan (28), a Malaysian national, refused to place her baggage in the explosives and incendiary tracking device, for it to be checked, CISF sources said. An altercation then broke out between the passenger

According to Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) sources, Ms. Palan arrived at the airport around 8.15 a.m., well in time for her flight, which was scheduled to depart around noon. When she was at the departure gate, CISF security personnel on duty asked her to place her baggage in order for them to check it using the device. But Ms. Palan refused to part with her baggage and began arguing with the CISF personnel.

A CISF sub-inspector then intervened and explained the security procedure to Ms. Palan, and said it was mandatory for them to check bags at random for explosives. He also explained that this was a regular security procedure carried out at the airport. However, according to CISF sources, the passenger was not convinced and continued to argue.

Irate CISF personnel then took away Ms. Palan’s passport and decided to file a complaint with the airport police. In the meantime, Ms. Palan complained to the Airports Authority of India manager on duty. The manager called both the CISF personnel and the passenger and tried to settle the issue. CISF personnel wanted to ensure Ms. Palan did not board the aircraft. However, the CISF personnel were keen on not allowing the woman to board the aircraft.

However, the manager told the CISF that it was not correct on their part to confiscate a passenger’s passport. He also told Ms. Palan to apologise to the CISF personnel. Malaysian Airlines officials also intervened and requested the CISF to allow the woman to board and not file a complaint with the airport police. Following requests from various quarters, the CISF agreed to let the passenger board the aircraft.

The flight finally took off after a half-hour delay, airport officials said.

Due to the problem, the departure of the flight was delayed and it took off from the airport around noon, the airport sources added.

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