Special Correspondent

Held in security hold area with cigarette

CHENNAI: A French journalist was apprehended by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at the Anna International Terminal early on Wednesday.

The CISF objected to the French national entering the security hold area "smoking" to complete pre-flight security check.

Sergueigo Izauskas accompanied by a woman journalist, Florence Evin, were returning from the city to Paris via Frankfurt by a Lufthansa flight.

The two could not continue their journey.

Airport sources said even after a CISF Inspector told him that he could not smoke in the security hold area, the passenger did not relent and entered it with a cigarette in his mouth. As the official tried to take away the cigarette, a wordy duel followed, resulting in the passenger being overpowered. He was handcuffed.

The CISF officials directed the airline to off-load their checked in luggage and also took away their passports.

Later, the journalists were brought to the Airports Authority of India Airport Manager's Office.

The CISF wanted them to be handed over to the Meenambakkam police to register a case.

Meanwhile, the journalists sought the help of the Embassy authorities in New Delhi and Pondicherry.

An Embassy official came to the airport. The airport duty doctor in his report said the foreign national was under the influence of alcohol and had multiple abrasions on his legs and that his elbow and hands were swollen.

The AAI and the CISF officials saw the video recording of the incident, captured by surveillance cameras.

A compromise was reportedly struck by warning the passengers to behave properly and the CISF personnel reprimanded for causing injuries to the passenger.