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NRI councillor backs racial profiling

india Updated: Aug 21, 2006 18:42 IST
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A British Indian councillor in a southeast England township has come out in favour of a controversial British government plan to introduce passenger profiling method at airports that would target Asians.

Buntingford town councillor Surjit Singh Basra has said that people of Asian appearance should accept the measures as "part and parcel of life" after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and 7/7.

"I do not have an issue with profiling. Some people may have their objections, but I'm happy to abide by it after the attacks of 7/7 and 9/11," a report in the Royston Mercury newspaper quoted Basra as saying.

Basra's comments came after a top British Muslim policeman warned authorities not to use the passenger profiling method which he described as "travelling whilst Asian".

Metropolitan Police chief superintendent Ali Desai had said he supported passenger profiling but not if it is solely based on ethnicity or religion.

According to the Mercury report, Basra said he has no problems when his papers are checked while he travels to India.

"When I travel to India they check my passport upside down and inside out because my name is Basra and it (Basra) is a city in Iraq - but I'm from the Punjab region of India.

"They have to do what they have to do in the interests of national security," he told the newspaper.

"I rise above it - it's part and parcel of life and if you don't accept that fact it will hold you back."

Reports of the British government's plans to introduce a profiling method appeared after Britain this month busted an alleged terror plot which involved blowing up planes on the British-US route over the Atlantic.

The profiling technique involves selecting people who behave suspiciously, have an unusual travel pattern or, most controversially, those with a certain ethnic or religious background.

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