A day after Shahbaz Khan (50) was suspected to be a terrorist and deplaned from the Dubai-bound Emirates flight, he said he would sue the authorities for maligning his name and inconveniencing him by not allowing him to travel.
“I was told that television news channels were describing me as suspected terrorist. Who informed them I am a terrorist? I will sue the authorities for providing false information to the media and harassing me.”
On Sunday, at 9.50 am, minutes before the flight EK505 was to take off, the airline’s office received an anonymous call claiming that Khan was a Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative.
The flight had begun taxiing when the air traffic control asked the pilot to return to the parking bay.
All 356 passengers, including Khan and his wife, were offloaded and the flight grounded for more than four hours.
Narrating the chain of events leading to his detention, Khan said: “I boarded the flight at 9.30 am. Initially, we were told that the flight was not taking off due to a technical problem and also that the runway was busy.”
“Two hours later, an officer entered the aircraft and asked for me,” said Khan, who lives with his family at Modi Street in Fort.
Khan was let off after 10 hours of detention.
“The media was aware of the story by 12 pm. Despite that, I was made to wait till 10 pm. I am taking legal opinion in the matter,” said Khan.
“I strongly suspect either political opponents or those who had eye on my property would have done this. The motive obviously would have been to malign my image and trouble me,” said Khan, who claims to have been associated with Congress since 1968.
“I have been serving people as a social worker for decades… But it took only five minutes to label me as a terrorist... this is disgusting,” an angry Khan said.
The police suspected that Khan’s son, Arif, had made the call to prevent his father from leaving the country owing to a property dispute.