TSA Assaults Indian Cabinet Minister at Logan Airport

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Fisher1949, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    It may take some sleuthing to find this on one of the Indian news outlets but sounds very credible. It is clearly recent since it cites the Boston bombing.

  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Ask & ye shall receive.

    India Times: Azam Khan Detained in Boston: Is the UP Minister Over-Reacting?

    Racial profiling is a very serious issue indeed. Especially in the post 9/11 world, where many cases of unlawful and unnecessary airport detentions and questioning have come to the light, where the victims not only feel targeted because of their religious identity, but also inconvenienced for no fault of theirs. But the recent case of UP Minister Azam Khan being detained at the Boston International Airport, begs us to look a the situation from the other side too and ask, "Is the UP Minister over-reacting?" But firstly, what really happened?

    India has formally protested to the US over the brief detention of Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan at Boston airport as he arrived to take part in an event at Harvard University.Khan, who is accompanying State Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for the presentation of a Harvard study on the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage, was detained for about 10 minutes for "further questioning" at Boston Logan International Airport Wednesday, according to Indian officials.

    Once the visitors were cleared for entry by immigration, a woman officer of the US Customs and Border Protection wing of the Homeland Security took Khan to an adjacent room "for further questioning," sources said.

    Incensed, Khan is reported to have kicked up a ruckus in the Immigration area saying he was detained because he was a Muslim and sought an apology from the officer who merely said she was doing her duty. As arguments became heated, officials from the Indian consulate in New York intervened and Khan was escorted out of the airport.

    According to the press release issued by Khurshid Ahmed, minister's information officer, late on Thursday night, Khan is deeply hurt by the humiliation and would come back after delivering a short lecture. Khan has also decided to cancel all other engagements scheduled during his stay in US. Khan was reportedly questioned and harassed at Boston airport by the officials despite the fact that he had a diplomatic passport. Khan claimed that he was insulted and harassed only because he is a Muslim.

    Khan, the press release stated, said that he had gone to America not for a pleasure trip but on the invitation of Harvard University to deliver lecture on how the state government organised Mahakumbh mela in Allahabad earlier this year, The Mahakumbh is the largest religion congregation lasting for three months. It saw participation of over 10 crore people from across the world. Khan said that the behaviour of the US officials was highly deplorable.

    The UP leader does have a penchant for drama though. Last year, he allegdly assaulted a hapless train attendant, slapping him and asking him to do 50 sit ups for not arranging his bedding properly.Replying to the allegations, the minister said, "There is nothing special about it. There was no need to take notice of such incidents."

    What everybody is forgetting in this case is that Boston was recently subjected to a week of terror when first,2 bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds. Then the two suspected terrorists- 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his 26 year old brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev sent the Boston police on a chase when they appeared armed and dangerous and shot down a police officer at MIT. In a day of terror, wherein the entire Boston was locked down in the manhunt for Dzhokhar (Tamerlan died during an exchange of fire with the police), the police finally managed to trace him down. It was revealed that the brothers had Chechen roots and had started acquiring radical Islamists views after recent trips back home.

    Clearly, for a city rattled by such terrorism, taking extra precautions , increasing surveilance and tighteing security is a given.We are in now way defending their act of detaining Mr Khan , because again, it constitutes racial profiling, but unless the police were downright insulting in their treatment of Mr. Khan, it can still constitute a routine check up, which Mr. Khan should have allowed.
    In Washington, Indian embassy spokesman M. Sridharan said the mission has "taken up the issue with the State Department officially and we have conveyed our serious concern."We have asked them to intervene and take appropriate measures to avoid recurrence in the future."

    At the State Department, when asked to comment on the incident, spokesman Patrick Ventrell said he was "not aware of the specifics of this case" as the Department of Homeland Security has jurisdiction over airport movements inside the US.

    But "I do want to underscore that we have a very important bilateral relationship with India and a very robust and thorough diplomatic exchange with our partners, he said. "We very much value our partnership with the Government of India."

    The issue has acquired diplomatic importance and we can surely count on the Samajwadi Party leaders to milk the incident for political gains, painting Azam Khan as a victim of racial profiling, which can be used to play with the Muslim votes in UP. But was all this necessary?
  3. RB

    RB Founding Member

    In my travels we never entered through customs/immigration except when returning to the U.S., a couple of times we were never even there.:) Things have sure changed over time.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    You deal with immigration on virtually every trip overseas. They're the people who stamp your passports. If your destination is a signatory to the Schengen treaty, you only get it stamped at the countries of entries & exit.

    A couple times (Switzerland, France) our passports were not stamped, but they were still in the hands of an immigration official who made a cursory show of opening them.

    For most countries in Europe, you almost always skip customs. You self-select the something-to-declare (everyone :) ) or the nothing-to-declare (usually empty) lines. I've never been diverted to a secondary in Europe.

    In Australia you usually deal w/ customs, but they generally just ask a couple quick, polite questions & send your luggage through an x-ray machine. Singapore: A couple quick questions, no hassles. Turkey just wants to sell you the visa stamp in exchange for your money.

    I have yet to encounter customs & immigration in any country that is as much of a pain in the (expletive deleted) as the U.S. can be. I've had plenty of pleasant returns to the U.S. but also enough annoying ones that I never look forward to returning to my own country.
  5. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    Just a title push, this was CBP not TSA.
  6. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    However, both are spawn of the same evil mother, DHS.
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Mike, we didn't have passports.
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Just another member of the DHS collection of abusive three-letter agencies. The major difference is that CBP employees are little Führers with guns and real authoritah vs. being impotent little Führers.
  9. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    touche but still, credit should be given where it's earned.
  10. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Some of them are, anyway. There are CBP employees that are not armed, just as there are TSA employees who are armed (FAMs, anyone?)

    The problem is that the overwhelming number of both groups should not be trusted to be armed - especially the ex-military types who washed out of the Armed Forces and ended up putting on the Blue Shirt of Shame because they somehow either managed to complete their tour without obtaining the slightest inkling of useful real-world work/job skills, or they came out of the military with such an abiding hatred of the general public in the United States that attacking personal liberties is an attractive option for them.

    Anyone who left any of the Armed Forces and became a TSA employee represents the worst qualities possible for anyone who pretends to be performing "security" functions.

    (And I've been informed - by an active Marine - that the phrase "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" does not apply to the meatsacks that leave the Corps to take a "job" with the TSA.)
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.

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