80-Year-Old On Wheelchair “Strip-Searched” at Airport

India: The CISF has suspended a woman constable after it received a complaint that an 80-year-old wheel-chair bound woman passenger, who had undergone a hip implant, was allegedly strip-searched at the Guwahati airport during security checks on Thursday.

The woman was accompanied by her granddaughter at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, and they had a flight to Delhi.

The paramilitary force that guards the Guwahati airport and 64 other civil airports in the country issued an official Tweet saying, “Security and dignity of needy pax (passenger) go hand in hand. CISF has already started enquiry in connection with the unfortunate incident at Guwahati airport.” “The concerned personnel has been suspended. DIG CISF has spoken with the passenger,” it said.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia also responded to the complainant over Twitter saying, he is also “looking into this”.

The force tagged the daughter of the woman, Dolly Kikon, on the post who had raised the complaint over Twitter and tagged the handles of the force and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma among others.

“@CISFHQrs My 80 year old disabled mom was made to strip at the CISF security check at Guwahati airport. The security personnel wanted “proof” of her titanium hip implant and forced her to undress. @himantabiswa @guwahatiplus @GuwahatiAirport. Is that how we treat seniors,” Kikon posted.

In another Tweet, she said, “It is disgusting! My 80 year old disabled mother was forced to pull down her undergarment and get naked. Why? Why?” Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials said the personnel concerned had asked the woman to pull down her lower body garments as the detector beeped, indicating metal on a person’s body.

“As per preliminary inputs, the CISF personnel on duty followed the standard operating procedure laid down in such circumstances.

“As there was a metal piece indicator on, she asked the lady passenger to undergo physical checking and show her the hip implant area so that she can corroborate the passenger’s version of having undergone surgery,” a senior officer said.