TIA correspondent +AMN
NEW DELHI: Indian on Thursday expressed deep anguish and resentment over ill-treatment to its ambassador to United States in the host country.
Strong reactions are coming from both official and political level over the treatment meted out at the Indian Ambassador to the United States, Ms Meera Shankar, who was subjected to a “pat down” at Jackson-Evers International Airport in Mississippi because she was in a sari.
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna termed the conduct as ‘unacceptable’ and said that the government was going to take it up with the US that such unpleasant incidents did not recur.
“I am rather surprised by the way the Indian ambassador to the US has been treated. This has happened for a second time in three months," External Affairs Minister told media persons here.
"We are going to take it up with the government of US that such unpleasant incidents do not recur," he said.
The minister said that there were "certain well-established conventions” as to how diplomats are treated in a given country.
According to reports Shankar was subjected to a rigorous public "pat down" at the Jackson-Evers International Airport after a visit as a guest of the Mississippi State University on December 4.
Shankar was singled out from a group of 30 passengers and pulled aside because she was chosen as she was wearing a sari.
Shankar was pulled from an airport security line and patted down by an American security agent in Mississippi despite being told of her diplomatic status.
Reports also said the organisers of the event that Ms. Shankar had attended expressed dismay at the episode. Janos Radvanyi, Chair of the University’s International Studies Department was quoted as saying, “It was a wonderful programme, maybe the best we have had, (but) this stupid incident ruined the whole thing.”
He added, “She said, ‘I will never come back here.’ We are sending her a letter of apology,” noting also that Ms. Shankar was “very upset,” and that the incident would be “very bad for Mississippi.”
Many political leaders have also strongly reacted to the incident. BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said that the incident is an insult to the Indian way of dressing Veteran Congress leader Dr Karan Singh said that the incident is deplorable that deserves and corrective action by U.S. administration Ms. Meera Shankar was pulled from an airport security line on December 4 and patted down by an American security agent in Mississippi despite being told of her diplomatic status.
Washington however, asserted that diplomats were not exempt from the searches even as it expressed regret and agreed to look into the incident.