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Airport official didn’t make racist remarks, finds probe

Days after a woman from Manipur alleged that she was subjected to racist comments by an immigration officer at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, an internal inquiry conducted by the Bureau of Immigration has found the official not guilty of any such act, a highly placed government source told The Hindu.

The immigration official only asked general questions, the inquiry found.

The woman, Monika Khangembam, who was travelling to Seoul, South Korea, had posted on her Facebook post on July 9: “The bloody racist immigration desk at it again! Looks at my Passport and says, “Indian toh nahi lagti ho”. I get that all the time so don’t react much to it but then he goes on, “Pakka Indian ho?” with a smirk. I still don’t react. What really got me was when he said, See... You yourself need to know your Indianness. How many States are there in India?”

Following this post, the Minister of External Affairs (MEA) tweeted that she was sorry to know of the incident and though immigration was not a subject dealt with by her Ministry, she would request her colleague Home Minister Rajnath Singh to look into the matter. Minister of State (MoS) Kiren Rijiju had also ordered a probe into the incident.

CCTV footage seen

The source said that the inquiry panel analysed footage from the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras installed at the immigration desk and even recorded the statements of independent witnesses. Another woman passenger, who was present at the adjacent immigration desk, will also be questioned now.

“We conducted an inquiry and found that the official only asked her one question — to name the States Manipur shares its boundary with. It is not unusual for immigration officials to ask such questions. We take these complaints seriously and last year we even dismissed an official when a complaint made against him by a woman was found to be genuine,” said the official.

“We will not tolerate any black sheep in the organisation but cannot take action against officials without any evidence. The woman in this case seems to have misunderstood the entire episode. We are sensitising our officials on these aspects now,” said the official.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 2:40:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Airport-official-didn%E2%80%99t-make-racist-remarks-finds-probe/article14499227.ece

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