Deplaned passenger of Emirates says he will sue authorities

Last Updated: Monday, February 8, 2010 - 21:48

Mumbai: Deplaned passenger of Dubai-bound
Emirates flight Shahbaz Khan, who was suspected to be a
terrorist and questioned, on Monday said he would sue authorities
for maligning his name and causing him great inconvenience by
not allowing him to travel.

"I have been serving people as a social worker for
decades. People love and respect me for the service I have
rendered to them. But it took only five minutes to label me as
a terrorist... this is disgusting," an angry Khan said.

The Emirates flight carrying 356 passengers was
grounded yesterday at Mumbai for four hours before take off
after the airline`s office received a phone call from a person
claiming that Khan, on board the aircraft, was an LeT
operative. He was let off after 10 hours of detention.

"I strongly suspect either political opponents or
those who had eye on my property would have done this. The
motive obviously would have been to malign my image and
trouble me," said 60-year-old Khan, who claimed to have been
associated with Congress since 1968.

"I was told that TV news channels were describing me
as suspected terrorist. Who informed them I am a terrorist? I
will sue the authorities for providing false information to
media and harassing me," Khan said.

Narrating the chain of events leading to his
detention, Khan said "I boarded the flight at about 9.30 am.
Initially, we were told that the flight was not taking off due
to technical problem and also that the runway was busy.

"Two hours later, an officer entered the aircraft and
inquired for me," Khan said.

The officer offloaded and he was escorted by armed
security personnel to Cargo complex gate and asked to stand
there. He was there till 2.30 pm.

"I sensed something was wrong. But the security
personnel did not tell me what had happened," Khan said.

Then Khan got a call from an acquaintance who told him
that TV channels were describing him as suspected terrorist.

"For a while, I was shocked. But I mustered courage to
face the situation," he said.

At 2.30 pm, I was taken to the cabin of Assistant
Foreigners Registration Officer (AFRO) where I was told the
reason for detention. After questioning his statement was
recorded by security personnel including Intelligence Bureau,
Anti-Terrorism Squad and CID, Khan claimed, adding that his
wife waited for him in other cabin.

Khan claimed he was once again questioned at Sahar
Airport Police station at about 5.30 pm and was detained there
for five more hours.

At 10.30 pm, he was relieved by police, who escorted
him to his residence and obtained the photo copies of his
ration card, he said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, February 8, 2010 - 21:48

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