US regrets Indian envoy`s frisking
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Last Updated: Friday, December 10, 2010, 10:20
  
Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed concern over an incident where Indian Ambassador to Washington was pulled out of an airport security line and patted down by an American security agent in Mississippi despite being told of her diplomatic status.

The Obama administration has also regretted the humiliating incident that took place on December 4 at the Jackson-Evers International Airport where sari-clad Meera Shankar was about to board a flight to Baltimore after attending the Mississippi State University's programme.

"We obviously are concerned about it. We will be looking into it and trying to determine both what happened and what we could do to prevent such incidents in the future," Clinton told reporters at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department in joint press availability with her Nigerian counterpart.

According to the Indian Embassy here, the State Department has reached out to Shankar and regretted about the incident.

"The US State Department has reached out to the Ambassador and has regretted what all had happened. The Embassy is in touch with the State Department on this issue," Indian Embassy spokesman Virander Paul said.

Paul confirmed that the Ambassador was subjected to the pat down security check last week at the Jackson-Evers International Airport.

Earlier, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said: "It is our understanding the (Indian) Ambassador was pulled out for secondary screening, and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has indicated they're prepared to talk about this."

Crowley said there are guidelines that have been published on diplomats.

"They are subject to basic security. So everyone at the airport goes through a basic screening," he said, adding from a TSA standpoint they followed their normal procedures.

"It is the responsibility of the Transportation Security Administration to assess each passenger and then work each passenger through security based on what they see," he said, adding that as to the rationale that TSA used for this, he will let them explain it.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna has called the pat-down of Shankar as "unacceptable" and said the matter would be taken up with the American government.

PTI


First Published: Friday, December 10, 2010, 10:20


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