Uttar Pradesh urban development minister Azam Khan is seen in this file photo. ANI
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav cancelled a reception hosted by the Indian consulate in New York on Saturday.
The move came a day after he skipped a talk at the Harvard University on the Kumbh Mela in protest against the frisking and questioning of senior Samajwadi Party leader Mohammed Azam Khan at the Boston airport earlier in the week.
Yadav was visibly upset and threatened to report the incident after Khan’s name apparently popped up for what is procedurally called secondary screening.
He was asked to step aside for more questioning, which lasted 10 minutes.
The Indian embassy in Washington DC sent a protest note to the US state department on Friday. The delegation from the Uttar Pradesh has also demanded an apology.
Yadav and Khan were scheduled for make a presentation on Kumbh Mela — “Harvard without Borders: Mapping the Kumbh Mela” — organised by the university’s South Asia Institute.
Both of them skipped it, sending chief secretary Jawed Usmani to make the presentation instead. But they held informal meetings and attended a dinner hosted for them at the university.
“They are aware of every member of the delegation much in advance of their arrival here for such incidents to happen,” said an official, who did not want to be identified.
SP blames ‘weak’ foreign policy
Lucknow: The SP on Saturday blamed India’s “weak” foreign policy behind the detention of UP minister Azam Khan at US airport on Wednesday.
“Even countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal or Maldives browbeat India now,” said SP spokesperson and jail minister Rajendra Chowdhury.
Meanwhile, SP workers, especially in Azam Khan’s constituency Rampur, held anti-US protests. HTC