Airport officials were forcing me to take off my clothes: Azad

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 07 July 2013, 10:13 PM

Having encountered a nightmarish experience at the Heathrow Airport in London on Saturday, former India cricketer Kirti Azad is yet come to terms with the ordeal that he along with his wife and son had to encounter before taking a flight back home.

Azad on Sunday claimed that airport authorities "harrassed" him alleging that there was an item in his luggage which was explosive in nature.

"I was dumbfounded when I was taken to a separate room for questioning and the duty officer told me to take off my clothes for frisking. I told them that I carry a diplomatic passport and if they indeed want to do this, they will have to forcibly take off my clothes," an angry Azad told.

"I was absolutely stunned when they alleged that there is a hint of explosives in my check-in luggage. There was a bottle of mineral water which my wife Poonam had inadvertently kept in the bag. In fact, I told the security officer that you can throw the bottle away. He had a look at my passport and then after consultation with his senior informed me that there is hint of explosives in my bag."

Azad said that this entire episode went on for about an hour and 45 minutes. "Once after they were sure, they came and told me that I am free to board the flight. I asked them sarcastically that since I am carrying explosives, how in the world can they let me go like this? I told them that I want a 'Regret Note' with clearance that they couldn't find explosives as well as they were forcing me to take off my clothes. I finally boarded the flight at 12:30 pm London time," Azad said.

Azad, who represents BJP in the Lok Sabha, has decided to lodge a formal complaint with the External Affairs Ministry and also seek advice from Speaker Meira Kumar on how to proceed on this issue.

First Published: Sunday, July 07, 2013 10:12 PM
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