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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Paswan raises heckles over suspicion of carrying knife

Ruchir Kumar, Hindustan Times  Patna, July 19, 2013
First Published: 23:45 IST(19/7/2013) | Last Updated: 23:46 IST(19/7/2013)

Former Union minister and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday raised hackles at the Patna airport, after CISF personnel searched his bag over suspicion of carrying a small knife.

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Paswan, who was travelling to New Delhi by a GoAir morning flight (G8-143), immediately lodged a protest with the Union home minister and director-general of the CISF, following which an inquiry has been ordered.

Carrying of knives in cabin baggage or on person is not allowed in flight under the Director General of Civil Aviation rules.

Paswan was incensed when CISF security personnel at the security hold area of the Patna airport asked him to open his bag. The security personnel at the baggage X-ray screening machine reportedly saw a ‘knife-like image’ along with a ‘nail filer’ inside the bag. This prompted the security personnel to ask the Lok Janshakti Party leader to open his bag, which apparently hurt Paswan’s ego.

Subsequent search did not reveal any knife in Paswan’s bag. During the nearly 3-5 minute search, Paswan reportedly stood raving and ranting at securitymen, which unnerved them and they allowed him to go, as he was the last passenger to board the flight, said sources.

Refuting allegations of him trying to browbeat securitymen, Paswan told HT, “I do not even trim my moustache or beard… The question of me carrying a knife does not arise. I am a responsible citizen and have been in political life for long and will never carry any prohibited item.”

Paswan said he had complained to the Union home minister, demanding an inquiry into the incident. “I also spoke to the director-general of the CISF and asked him to inquire why such incidents happen only at the Patna airport. Either there is some problem with the baggage X-ray screening machine or the security personnel,” he added.

None from the Airports Authority of India or the CISF was willing to come on record.


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