80-year-old in wheelchair ‘strip searched’, airport staff suspended
The CISF has suspended a female constable after receiving a complaint that an 80-year-old passenger in a wheelchair, who had undergone a hip implant, was strip searched at Guwahati airport during security checks on Thursday.
The woman was accompanied by her granddaughter at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, and they had a flight to Delhi.
The paramilitary force guarding Guwahati Airport and 64 other civilian airports across the country posted an official tweet saying, “The safety and dignity of pax (passengers) in need go hand in hand. The CISF has already opened an investigation into the unfortunate incident in Guwahati. airport.” “The staff concerned have been suspended. DIG CISF spoke with the passenger,” he said.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia also responded to the complainant on Twitter saying he was “investigating this matter as well”.
The force tagged the woman’s daughter, Dolly Kikon, on the post that raised the complaint on Twitter and tagged the force’s handles and Assam’s Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, among others.
“@CISFHQrs My 80 year old disabled mother was made to strip naked at CISF security check at Guwahati airport. Security staff wanted ‘proof’ of her titanium hip implant and forced her to undress. @himantabiswa @guwahatiplus @GuwahatiAirport. Is this how we treat the elderly,” Kikon said.
In another Tweet, she said, “This is disgusting! My disabled 80 year old mother was forced to take down her underwear and get naked. Why? Why?” Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials said relevant personnel instructed the woman to lower her lower body clothing as the detector beeped, indicating metal on a person’s body.
“According to preliminary information, CISF personnel on duty followed standard operating procedure established in such circumstances.
“As there was a metal part indicator on, she asked the passenger to undergo a physical check and show her the hip implant area so she could corroborate the passenger’s version according to which she had undergone surgery,” a senior officer said.
However, an investigation is underway to determine whether staff failed to treat the passenger with respect or if there was some other breach, he added.
Officials said the CISF control room reviewed CCTV footage from the airport and found the passenger left the woman’s cabin within two minutes.
The woman’s daughter also claimed in her social media post that her niece who was accompanying the octogenarian had filled out a complaint form, but CISF staff took it away, saying it was not allowed.
A Guwahati airport spokesperson told PTI that the mobility-impaired passenger was asked to go through the mandatory security check but had a metal plate attached to her hip bone, the team said. of the CISF asked him to go for additional checks.
“Authorities politely explained the mandatory security protocol to the passenger and the matter was resolved. The octogenarian passenger was irritated at first, but later understood the problem and departed for her destination in good spirits” , said the spokesperson.
In a similar incident in November last year, famous dancer and actress Sudhaa Chandran released a video statement saying she felt “humiliated” when a member of CISF staff at the airport Mumbai asked him to remove his artificial limb.
The CISF had then apologized to Chandran on social media, saying: “As per protocol, prostheses should only be removed for security checks in exceptional circumstances.” “We assure Ms. Sudhaa Chandran that all our staff will again be made aware of the protocols so that no inconvenience is caused to passengers while traveling,” said the CISF.
The force later said that it would create a committee of all stakeholders at all civilian airports as part of its work and that these groups would work to resolve travel issues for passengers with reduced mobility, even if it there will be an “increased focus” on sensitizing security personnel to deal with this category of travelers. PTI NES DG TIR TIR