Para-cyclist made to remove prosthesis at airport again

Aditya Mehta won a silver at the Asian Para-Cycling Championship in 2013.—File Photo  

A little over two months after complaining about having to remove his prosthetic limb at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) as part of the security check, para-cyclist Aditya Mehta had to go through the ordeal on Tuesday morning.

The silver medallist at the Asian Para-Cycling Championship 2013 said he was told by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to remove his prosthesis limb before boarding a flight to Hyderabad.

Describing the incident as one that left a ‘psychological scar’ on the mind of a person with a physical disability, he said he was made to remove the prosthesis and wear it again despite his protests citing an injury to the operated limb. “The security officials only had to say it was my problem. The entire process took 40 minutes and left me bleeding at the end. The same officer who was rude to me the previous time, gave me an equally humiliating treatment this time too,” he alleged.

Mr. Mehta’s earlier experience at KIA in August had triggered a campaign seeking the setting up of body scanners at airports for persons with disabilities. “But CISF personnel are not yet sensitised to deal with such cases,” he added.

The para-cyclist, who travels regularly across the country, said he is not subjected to such treatment at other airports. “Officials at other airports are sensible enough to understand when I told them about my injury and let me go,” he said.

However, a CISF official in Bengaluru, said making persons with prosthesis remove it is a standard operating procedure as part of security. “It is the same rule followed across the country. Body scanners have not been installed anywhere in India due to medical and privacy reasons,” he said.

He added that the process of making people remove the prosthesis is to ensure that security threats, other than explosives that are detected by Explosive Trace Detectors, such as knives, for example, would not go unchecked.