New Delhi: A 30-year-old Indian-origin woman, Shruthi Basappa who is a resident of Reykjavik, Iceland and married to an Icelandic citizen alleges racial profiling. She was asked to strip by security officials at Frankfurt airport. This incident took place when she was travelling from Bengaluru to Iceland earlier this week.
However, officials backed out when her husband intervene. She questioned “Are brown people not suspicious if we have European partners or co-traveler” in a facebook post.
According to the news published in NDTV, even after Shruthi Basappa cleared the full body scan, security officers had their doubts. She was asked to strip.
Responding to it, she said she is ready to undergo pat down search and requested them to be gentle as she had undergone abdominal surgery. She even produced medical proof but they refused.
Basappa said that suddenly the attitude of the officer got changed when they saw her Icelandic husband. They agreed for a pat down search.
Reacting to Ms Basappa’s Facebook post, a verified Facebook account of Frankfurt airport said, “I am shocked to hear that. Of course it is not the standard protocol reserved for anyone. We would appreciate your detailed feedback. What happened exactly? When and where was it?”.
After the incident, Shruthi described the incident in a post on Facebook. She wrote,
“I would like to know if it is regular protocol to ask passengers to remove their clothing, be in their underwear as part of ‘random security checks’. I am an Indian passport holder, my husband is Icelandic and I have an Icelandic residence permit and we were on our way to our next transit flight to Berlin. We were travelling to Iceland from India, via Frankfurt with our 4 year old daughter when I was asked to move aside for this ‘random check’, no explanations offered. I was taken into a room, and was asked to lift my dress/ take it off so that I could be checked to make sure I wasn’t ‘carrying anything under my clothes’. This whole ordeal happened in front of my 4 year old. I was given no explanation as to why I was put through this ordeal. I specifically requested for a regular scan, using whatever equipment is in place despite the fact that I had just gone through a body scan, given that 1. It is absolutely ridiculous to be stripping in an airport no less, for no reason. 2. It is violating. My constant requests to be patted down gently because of a recent abdominal surgery (proof of which I was carrying on hand) was constantly ignored and resulted in being shouted at aggressively by the woman in charge. She then proceeded to call her supervisor who parroted the same lines about how they wanted me to take my dress off. I would really like to hear from the #FrankfurtAirport authorities if this is the norm? Why are passengers being asked to take their clothes off? I hate to play the race card here, but I was the only person pulled aside and peeking at my husband instantly changed the woman’s mind about the strip search that was now a regular pat down. I’d appreciate a response from you at the earliest”
Basappa had filed a complaint with the Frankfurt airport authorities who are yet to response.
It is to be mentioned that earlier in January, at Frankfurt airport, a 33-year-old Indian-origin Singaporean woman was asked to squeeze her breast in order to prove that she was lactating after police found breast pump with her.