• Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019
  • Last Update : 10:03 am

Kolkata airport security asks disability activist to remove trousers

  • Published at 11:26 am October 22nd, 2019
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) soldiers stand guard at the domestic terminal of the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata on August 8, 2019 AFP

Kuhu Das, secretary of the Disability Activists Forum, is a polio survivor who walks on titanium calipers

An Indian physically-challenged rights activist was humiliated by the Kolkata airport officials when they asked her to remove her trousers for a security check.

Kuhu Das, secretary of the Disability Activists Forum, is a polio survivor who walks on titanium calipers. 

Activists Kuhu Das, accompanied by another activist Jeeja Ghosh, faced harassment when they arrived that the airport to board a flight to New Delhi on Sunday to attend the United Nations conference to discuss the rights of women with disabilities, reports Times of India.

“For a moment, I couldn’t believe my ears. It was absolutely shocking and utterly humiliating. I have taken so many flights but never asked to do what the officer told to do on Sunday,” Das said.

Indian physically challenged people take part in a protest rally at the departure gate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata on February 3, 2016 |AFP

“When I refused, she called another officer and right in front of me, she told her colleague that she had never seen anyone like me before. It was like I had come from another planet. How insensitive is that?” Das said in a statement to BBC.

Responding to the incident, a CISF official told Times of India that they “checked CCTV footage and sorted the matter with the woman officer who had asked Das to remove her trousers.”

“Our officer had asked the woman to show her calipers, which is standard checking procedure. There was no intent to embarrass her,” he added.

Kolkata airport authorities also tweeted an apology to the two activists.

In 2017, India’s Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said passengers with disability will not have to remove prosthetic limbs for security check at the airport. In addition, the CISF also decided not to screen wheelchairs through X-ray as it causes inconvenience.

Last month, however, there were reports of a CISF staff allegedly misbehaving with disability activist Virali Modi, who has been paralyzed for 13 years. 

“Don’t do drama, you have to stand up,” the CISF staff allegedly told her.