Terming as “unacceptable” the pat down search of Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar at an airport in the country, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna today 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, Mr. 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 U.S. government and I hope things will be resolved so that such unpleasant incidents do not recur,” the minister told reporters.
When asked if a report has been sought from the U.S., he said, “There are various procedures through which we take it up with government of the U.S.”
Ms. 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 Ms. Shankar was about to board a flight to Baltimore after attending the Mississippi State University’s programme.
Ms. 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 U.S. airports.
In September, visiting Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel was quizzed by U.S. 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.