An Indian woman who was traveling to Iceland from Bengaluru with her husband and four-year-old daughter was allegedly strip-searched at Frankfurt airport. While the airport authorities claim it was a part of “random security check,” the woman said she was the only person asked to take of clothes and called it a case of racial profiling.
After the incident brought to light, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sought a report from the Indian consul general in Frankfurt Raveesh Kumar.
Her tweet came following the news reports based on the woman’s Facebook post narrating the incident happened at 29 March.
I was asked to remove the dress I was wearing. Yes. Remove my clothes. Is this the new norm? Isn’t it enough to always be the one random person picked out of line that now I need to wrap my head around the fact that I might be asked to strip? Do I need to wax my legs? Do I need to carefully put together a special ‘for travel lingerie’ set that has nothing to do with seducing my husband but more about hiding the outrage, anger, humiliation and disgust that is an inevitable part of travelling through airports?Shruthi Basappa’s Facebook
According to NDTV, Basappa had refused to pull up her dress and demanded that her husband be called in. However, she says, when they saw her Icelandic husband the approach of the officers changed and he strip search quickly turned into a pat down, something she was willing to undergo.
“Are brown people not suspicious if we have European partners or co-travellers?,” the woman Shruthi Basappa asked.
I’m always the ‘chosen one’ for random security checks - pat down, baggage check, let’s take you into a room for a closer pat down etc. Of course, it is random. Of course, it is not because I’m brown. But this happens every time. Every. Single. TimeShruthi Basappa
The woman had recently undergone an abdominal surgery and she was carrying proof of it. She requested for a gentle pan down search, “but it was constantly ignored,” she added.
“I have filed a complaint with the authorities in Frankfurt Airport but I am not surprised that it has been over two days and I have no answer from them,” the woman was quoted by NDTV.
Earlier in January, a 33-year-old Indian-origin Singaporean woman was told to squeeze her breast at Frankfurt airport to prove she was lactating.