Civil aviation minister Praful Patel was stopped at Chicago’s O’Hare airport on Monday on his way to Montreal. Patel was on a personal visit to Chicago and had flown in from London. Patel, in an SMS from Montreal where he is attending an internation civil aviation meeting, said “nothing serious happened”.
Civil aviation ministry officials told HT the minister was “taken aside” for questioning by airport officials. They said officials had another person by the same name and date of birth as Patel’s on a check-list kept by US authorities.
“He was questioned as normal people are,” said an official of the Indian Consulate General in Chicago, refusing to be named.
The official maintained the minister was not detained — “which could have meant he was taken to another room”. Patel was merely questioned and allowed to go once the immigration was convinced of the mismatch.
It is not immediately clear what the list which featured this name was. In his SMS, Patel said his name was “double-checked” against the name on the US list.