Paracyclist Aditya Mehta has blasted Bengaluru Airport officials for strip-searching him and forcing him remove his prosthetic limb while boarding a flight to Hyderabad on early Tuesday morning.
Mehta, a two-time silver medallist at the 2013 Para Asian cycling championship, expressed his annoyance over the issue on his Facebook page. He also called the procedure he had to undergo at the Airport 'painful', and said that it leaves a 'psychological scar on a physically challenged person's mind'.
As if the "psychological hurt" was not enough, the Indian paracyclist was also left bleeding after being forced to remove his prosthetic limb as part of a security check at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA.)
Two months after a similar incident of humiliation, Aditya had to go through the ordeal again when he was forced to remove his prosthetic limb on 11 October and while hurriedly wearing it back to catch the flight he ended up hurting himself.
"It's your problem," he was told after he informed the official about an injury he was suffering since 20 days. The process of removing and wearing back the prosthesis took more than 40 minutes and at the end of it, he was bleeding.
"Many of the officials at other airports were sensible enough to understand when I told them about my injury and they let me go. But at the Kempegowda Airport, the same officer Mr Thakur Das who was very rude the previous time, gave me an equally humiliating treatment this time too. He was too reluctant to let me go and stripped me yet another time with the people around mocking at me," Mehta wrote in the Facebook post.
Mehta argued that he had been to three other airports but the officials there did not ask him to remove his limb.
"I told them the security officials can check the ETD. In fact, I had been to three other airports, where they did not force me to remove my limb."
Mehta had urged airport officials to replace the present security system with a sensitised one after he faced the same 'humiliation' at both the Bengaluru and Delhi Airports in the recent past.
Mehta described the whole incident as a disgrace and urged the authorities to, "Fall in line and change the heat. Else, be ready to face the heat."
The DGCA office in Hyderabad said that asking people with prosthetic limbs to remove them is standard operating procedure as part of security.
With inputs from agencies