Thursday, September 07, 2006

US security shock for Indian fliers

Jammu: After the wrongful arrest of 12 Indians in the Netherlands recently comes the wrongful detention of two Indians in the US for questioning. They were stopped just 15 minutes to takeoff and were let off two hours later. They missed their flight.
Kashmiri santoor player Bhajan Sopori and his son were detained at O'Hare airport in Chicago on August 23. "Simply because I was wearing a flowing kurta and have long hair and a flowing beard," he told HT. Sopori is a Padmashree recipient.
"It's not my fault if I look like an Afghan," he said. "It was quite humiliating that we were questioned because we were Kashmiris. My son writes Abhay Rustum. What's wrong with this name? But they had questions for that too."
Sopori thinks Homeland Security officers got suspicious because of the mention of Srinagar in their passports - as their place of birth. Though the officers were quite apologetic later.
07/09/06 Arun Joshi/India Monitor, UK
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