An immigration officer, who allegedly racially harassed a Manipuri woman, has been questioned by intelligence officers after a home ministry inquiry identified him as the person who interacted with her at the IGI airport in Delhi.
The officer has been identified by investigators after checking the CCTV footage of the immigration area at the airport, a home ministry official said.
The complainant, Monika Khangembam, alleged that an official hurled racist remarks at her when she was on her way to Seoul for a conference.
“The officer is being questioned about his behaviour and on the woman’s complaints,” the official said.
After receiving the reports of the alleged harassment, Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju had said that an inquiry was instituted into the allegation of racial harassment and action will be taken if anyone is found guilty.
On her Facebook wall, Khangembam wrote that when she went to the immigration desk at IGI at around 9 pm on Saturday, an official looked at her passport and said, “Indian toh nahi lagti ho” (you don’t look Indian).
He then allegedly smirked at her and asked her how many states comprised the country, in an apparent bid to “know her Indianness”.
Khangembam alleged that a lady official at the adjacent counter was giggling while the male officer paid no heed to her.
When Khangembam told him she hailed from Manipur, the officer allegedly asked her to name the states Manipur shares its border with.
“I said I was really getting late and he goes like, ‘aircraft aapko chodke kahi nahi jaa rahi. Aaram se jawab do’“ (the aircraft isn’t leaving without you. You can answer at ease).
After learning about the matter, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj expressed regret over the incident and said she would take up the issue with home minister Rajnath Singh.
“Monika Khangembam - I am sorry to know this. Immigration is not with me. I will speak to my senior colleague Shri @rajnathsingh ji to sensitise Immigration officials at the airport,” Swaraj tweeted on Sunday.
The home ministry official said the Bureau of Immigration is expected to launch a sensitisation programme for immigration officials handling travellers in airports across the country.