US Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar ‘humiliated’ during pat-down at Mississippi airport

By on Dec 9, 2010 in Travel, United States Comments

US Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar was apparently ‘humiliated’ during a pat-down search at the Mississippi airport last December 4, when the diplomat is to about to depart from the country.

According to international news sites, the Transportation Security Administration (TDA) search done to the Indian ambassador was ‘humiliating’, and some Indian government officials were upset and announced that they will take it up with US.

Apparently, there were witnesses who saw the incident including MSU’s International Security Studies center research associate Tan Tsai, and found the foreign diplomat ‘uncomfortable’ during the pat-down search.

“The way they pat them down, it was so humiliating. Anybody who passed by could see it.” Tan Tsai told the news, and also said that the Indian ambassador was the only passenger in a group of at least 30 that was
pulled aside.

“She (Meera Shankar) is a very strong woman, but you could see in her face that she was humiliated.” Tsai added, while apparently observing the Indian ambassador being hand-search by a lady airport official.

Witnesses added the Ms. Shankar was singled out by the airport officials apparently due to her attire, as the Indian ambassador was wearing a Sari, a traditional robe for female Indian.

The Indian ambassador pat-down incident happened at the Jackson-Evers International Airport in Mississippi that do not have yet full-body screeners, which means all passengers should pass through the pat-down search.

On the other hand, a TSA spokesman said diplomats like Meera Shankar are not exempted from the pat-down searches but insisted that the Indian ambassador was ‘screened in accordance with TSA’s security policies and procedures’.

Meanwhile, Mississippi governor’s spokesman Dan Turner told the news that the incident is still being investigated and decline to comment further.

Meera Shankar, Indian served as a guest of the Janos Radvanyi Chair in International Security Studies at Mississippi State University, and spoke in front of more than 100 people at the Executive Lecture Forum of Jackson.

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