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Detaining SRK at US airport not justified: Ambika Soni

IANS  New Delhi, August 15, 2009
First Published: 13:22 IST(15/8/2009) | Last Updated: 13:24 IST(15/8/2009)

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Saturday reacted angrily to Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan being detained at a US airport, saying it was not justified.


"I don't think that this manner of detaining the name of religion is justified. But in the United States of America several examples have surfaced where frisking takes place more than required, according to us," Soni, who was the tourism minister in the previous government, told reporters in New Delhi.

"I have always felt - even when I was frisked there - that the way they frisk us we should do the same for them here," she added.

Khan was detained for two hours at the Newark airport after US immigration officials spotted the 'Khan' in his name, his aide said.

Shah Rukh was on his way to Chicago to attend a function to mark India's Independence Day.

"He was detained because his surname is Khan. He was kept until officials from the Indian embassy intervened. Now he has been released," Niloufer Qureshi, Shah Rukh's manager, told IANS over telephone from Mumbai.

In April, former president APJ Kalam was also frisked at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi as he was boarding a flight of US carrier Continental Airlines.

The incident had created waves in parliament in July, with MPs from across the spectrum expressing outrage over Kalam being reportedly subjected to a full body check and even asked to remove his footwear as he waited on the aerobridge to board the Newark-bound flight.

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