The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has suspended a woman constable on Friday after the intervention of Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia into the incident at Guwahati airport where an 80-year-old disabled woman was subjected to a “strip search” after her hip implant set off metal detectors during a security check.
“Woman constable Meera Das has been suspended for her behavior with the passenger and a detailed inquiry has been ordered into the matter,” said a senior CISF officer. “The Constable has acted as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) but still she could have handled the situation in a much better way with an 80-year-old disabled woman passenger. Let the inquiry report come,” he added.
The incident took place at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) airport in Guwahati when a wheelchair-bound, Mhalo Kikon who underwent a hip replacement surgery last year was forced to “undress” at the CISF security check at the airport. “The staff on duty followed the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). The passenger came into the booth for checking at 12.01 pm and left before 12.03 pm,” the CISF claimed.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said he is ‘looking into this’ after the woman’s daughter Dolly Kinon raised the issue on Twitter. As per Dolly Kikon, her mother Mhalo Kikon was traveling with her granddaughter to New Delhi.
Kikon alleged, “The security personnel wanted ‘proof’ of her (mother’s) titanium hip implant and forced her to “undress.” “Someone please help! The CISF security personnel team at Guwahati Airport are harassing my niece who is taking care of my mother,” she said in a series of tweet.
She also alleged that the staff took away the complaint form, while her niece was taking a photo of it stating that it is not “allowed”. She tweeted, “My mom is distressed.” In another tweet, she alleged, “It is disgusting! My 80-year-old disabled mother was forced to pull down her undergarment and get naked. Why? Why?”
Responding to her complaint, Guwahati International Airport replied, “We understand that the CISF and Security team have contacted you immediately to further assist the passengers and ensure comfort. The Safety and Security of all our passengers is our topmost priority. We eagerly look forward to serving you at Guwahati Airport.” After facing criticism on social media, Guwahati Airport apologized for the inconvenience that the senior citizen had to face.