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Kalam denies receiving any apology

india Updated: Jul 23, 2009 13:07 IST

Former president APJ Abdul Kalam said on Thursday that he has not received any apology from Continental Airlines for frisking him at the Indira Gandhi International Airport when he was going on a visit to the US this April.

Kalam told reporters in Kochi that he did not want to say anything more on the episode.

"Whatever I have said, I have said. I have not received any apology," he said, adding he had "no further comments".

Asked if he considered the frisking an insult, he said, "The incident is true. I have no more comments."

The issue has been discussed in the parliament, Kalam added.

Holding that the frisking of the former president was "absolutely unpardonable", the central government Tuesday ordered an inquiry and issued notice to Continental Airlines for its "willful violation" of Indian laws, even as the Delhi Police registered a case against it.

The US carrier first justified its action, saying it was in accordance with procedure. Later, it stated it had sent an apology to Kalam.

The incident had created waves in parliament, 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 of the Newark-bound flight at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).

"The frisking was absolutely unpardonable," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel said in the Rajya Sabha. "Action will be taken in accordance with the sentiments of the house."