Disabled a security threat, airports told
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has asked the airports to regard the disabled and sick passengers carrying prosthetics, such as artificial legs, a bigger security risk. Wheelchair-bound passengers should be asked to stand up for thorough checking, as they may be used as carriers of weapons and explosives.
The manual, however, has put the civil aviation ministry in a spot, as it is receiving emails protesting against “insensitive” treatment to the physically challenged.
The ministry has now decided to discuss the problems faced by the disabled at airports with the civil society. A joint secretary in the ministry, G Asok Kumar, invited civil society members for a meeting with bureau officials on Monday to make the security manual more humane.
In a RTI reply to Javid Abidi of Disabled Support Group, the bureau said there was no question of relaxing the security norms for the disabled or the sick. On the contrary, immediate and stern action would be initiated if a disabled or sick passenger objects to screening.
Abidi said the regulation was in violation of human rights norms. “Nowhere in the world will a disabled person be asked to take off leg braces, or explain medical attachments like a leg bag that holds urine”.
In countries such as the US, the UK, South Africa and Malaysia, the disabled are not asked to get up or remove their medical attachments.