Kolkata, July 6: After Kamal Haasan, Shah Rukh Khan and Irrfan Khan, it is the turn of Rituparna Sengupta to face harassment abroad. The national award-winning actress from West Bengal was interrogated for nearly five-and-a-half hours at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Thursday.
According to a report published in Anandabazaar Patrika, the harassment began soon after Sengupta reached Toronto around noon. She was told that her visa had expired even though it is valid till 2015 while her personal belongings were searched. Her mobile was also taken away.
The actress's plight did not end there. When she broke down after feeling humiliated, she was labelled as a mental patient with threats that she would be sent to the hospital.
"They told me that I would not be able to enter Canada since my visa had lapsed, which was not the case," Sengupta said, adding that she was even asked to go back from the airport. "Finding no other option, I counter-charged by seeking documents to show that her visa stood cancelled, at which they backtracked," the report quoted her saying.
The actor finally got the permission to enter Canada where she has gone to attend the Banga Sammelan event where one of her films Mukti was to be screened. She was accompanied by one of her 80-year-old in-laws, who is a citizen of Canada. She also felt humiliated by the degree of harassment.
The Indian foreign affairs ministry has reportedly lodged a diplomatic protest (demarche) with the government of Canada.