After his “ordeal” at the hands of immigration officials at the Newark airport, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has said he does not feel like stepping on American soil any more, but ruled out seeking an apology for the incident which was denied by U.S. officials.
Driving straight to the venue of a function at the luxury Trump Taj Mahal hotel in Atlantic City in tattered jeans, a white T-shirt, a brownish coat and a muffler, since his baggage was yet to arrive, Mr. Khan told the audience that “I was treated shabbily just because I happened to have Khan as my last name.”
Profusely apologising to his fans for arriving two hours late at the casino city of New Jersey for Saturday’s function, Mr. Khan told the large number of Indian-Americans that he did not feel like stepping on American soil any more, but it was the love and affection of millions of his fans in the U.S. which would bring him to this country again and again.
Sharing his “ordeal” which he underwent as he landed at the Newark International Liberty Airport on a British Airways flight, with his fans, the 43-year-old actor said he was grilled by immigration officials.
“It was very unprofessional of the airport security staff of not allowing me to use my cell phone to contact my local organisers,” he told the audience, who were literally taken aback by what they heard from their superstar.
A visibly shattered Mr. Khan said: “I have travelled throughout the world for my shooting and also as brand ambassador for major products, but I have never been treated like this before.”
Later in Chicago, where he had gone to take part in the South Asian Carnival on the occasion of India’s Independence Day, Mr. Khan told PTI that “I think it is a procedure that needs to be followed. But it is an unfortunate procedure.”
Asked whether he would seek an apology for the incident, the actor replied in the negative. Soon after the incident, which sparked angry reactions, the actor said he was detained and questioned by immigration officials after his name matched with some of those on a common checklist.
PTI reports from Bikaner:
India to take up matter
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Sunday that India would “strongly” take up the detention of Mr. Khan with the U.S.
“We will take up the issue with the United States government strongly. Such incidents involving Indians due to their religion or nationality should not happen... we will not accept it,” Mr. Patel told reporters.