Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Praful stopped at Chicago airport

The Union civil aviation minister, Mr Praful Patel, was stopped for questioning by authorities at the Chicago airport in the United States but later allowed to go on Monday night, in a case of mistaken identity.

According to sources, the incident occurred after Chicago airport officials posted a lookout notice for someone with a “similar name and date of birth” as that of the minister. Indian diplomats in the US intervened following which Mr Patel was allowed to leave.

Mr Patel, as an Indian minister, is exempt from frisking at American airports. The Union civil aviation ministry sought to downplay the incident. The minister stated, “I’m in Montreal and nothing happened... There is a person with
similar name and date of birth and that’s why they just
checked.” The minister is on an official visit to Canada.

There was a furore last year when the former President, Dr A.P.J. Kalam, was subjected to checks at the New Delhi IGI airport by an US airline.


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