Taking a serious note of the "unpardonable" act of frisking of former President A P J Abdul Kalam at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, the government has slapped a show cause notice to the US-based Continental Airlines for violating guidelines.” Not only the preliminary inquiry has been ordered but we also have a preliminary report on the basis of which Continental Airlines has been issued a show cause notice why action for wilful violation should not be taken," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Patel was responding to the anguish expressed by the entire House, including Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, over the "humiliation" meted out to the Bharat Ratna, whom they described as the tallest figure and a national hero Kalam was frisked by the Airlines at the embarkation point some time back when he was going to the US.
Unfazed by the controversy surrounding its action, Continental Airlines implied on Friday that former President A P J Abdul Kalam was not exempt from frisking before boarding the aircraft. "TSA (Transportation Security Administration of US Department of Homeland Security) requirements impose a final security check in the aero-bridge just before boarding the aircraft.
"This procedure is followed by all carriers flying to the US from most of the countries in the world and there is no exemption to this rule," a statement from Continental Airlines said in the wake of a furore over frisking of Kalam three months ago at the international airport in New Delhi when he was going to US.
It said as all carriers flying to the USA, Continental Airlines must follow TSA requirements and procedures. The statement said Continental Airlines was honoured and proud to have had a distinguished customer and "we hope former president Kalam has been pleased by our service". "Security and custom service are key component for us at Continental Airlines. We believe that Dr Kalam was not offended and we would like to thank him again for flying with us," the statement said.
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