Frisking of Indian envoy unfortunate, security policies need to be reviewed: US

Posted By: One India
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New Delhi, Dec.10 (ANI): The Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi,Donald Lu, on Friday expressed regret over the pat-down search of Indian envoy to the U.S., Meera Shankar, and said security policies in the country need to be revisited.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Gay Rights' seminar at the American Centre here, Lu said that the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have expressed a desire to look at the security policies again.

"We all at the American embassy have tremendous respect for Ambassador Meera Shankar. She is one of the most impressive diplomats working today for India. What she has done personally for US-India relationship is well known and we have, again, tremendous respect for her. We have also seen major American political figures, you mentioned Hillary Clinton but also Governor of Mississippi expressed regret over this incident and desired to look at our policies again," said Lu.

He further said that security remains a major concern in United States, so as not to allow any terrorist attacks and added that a balance needs to be struck between security and respect.

"I think it is worth remembering that the purpose of having the airport screening is really to make sure that passengers remain safe and secure. We both, India and America, live in two big democracies... democracies that have faced very terrible terrorist attacks. Both of us have to find a balance between security and respect for each other. We are trying to do that in the United States, the struggle to have that balance set right is something we will continue to do," he said.

Shankar was patted down by an American security agent at the Jackson - Evers International Airport in Mississippi on December 4.

The incident took place when she was about to board a flight to Baltimore after attending the Mississippi State University's programme.

Those who witnessed the ambassador's screening alleged that officials had singled out Shankar because she was dressed in a sari.

Shankar was further taken to a VIP waiting room despite informing authorities she was an ambassador. By Pooja Shali (ANI)

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