Newark (New Jersey)/New Delhi:
Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan on Saturday said that he was doing
well and was fine after his two-hour-long ordeal at Newark
Khan was detained for about two hours on Saturday
morning at the airport in New Jersey, USA.
Khan had arrived here to attend a South Asian related
Khan was released after Congress MP Rajiv Shukla
spoke to the authorities in the US and the Indian consulate.
He was detained after his name flashed on a computer
and was asked several questions about the purpose of his visit.
Khan's hand baggage was checked. The authorities did
not even allow him to make a phone call for nearly an hour.
Reacting to the incident, Khan said, "I told them I
was a movie star and had recently visited the country for the
shooting of my film.
Nothing seemed to convince the immigration officer.
There were other immigration officers, who even vouched for me but
this particular officer, did not listen to anyone. I even told them
I had an invitation from the South Asian community and was there to
attend an event."
Meanwhile in New Delhi, there were strong reactions
to Khan being detained by the American authorities.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika
Soni, said, "I don''t think frisking is conducted with a religious
bias in mind, but in the US, there have been many such cases when
authorities go overboard.
Soni demanded that American citizens should also be
frisked in the same manner that Indians are frisked.
India's former ambassador to the United States Naresh
Chandra said that Khan's detention clearly exhibited the
"ham-handed" approach of American security agencies.
He told ANI over phone that a formal complaint about
this harassment should be reported to the US State Department.
Reacting to the incident, Ambassador Chandra said, "
The authorities should have taken maximum 10 -15 minutes for
questioning Shahrukh, but it took two hours. It is great
incompetence and has lowered the image of (US) Homeland Security".
Sources said that Khan was indeed detained at the US
airport and questioned for two hours. They said he was released only
after Indian Officials intervened.
They added that the Consulate General of New York was
in touch with Shahrukh Khan. According to sources, the Indian
consulate could register a formal complaint against the security
agencies involved in this "embarrassing" incident.
Some experts said that a formal complaint should be
sent to the US envoy in Delhi.
Chandra, however, said that making it a big
diplomatic issue would be counterproductive because the incident had
nothing to do with US policy, but was the handiwork of lowly
officers deployed at the airport.
U.S. Ambassador to India, Timothy J. Roemer, on
Saturday said that he was looking into reasons for the detention of
Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan at Newark International Airport.
“We are trying to ascertain the facts of the case to
understand what took place,” said the Ambassador.
"Shah Rukh Khan, the actor and global icon, is a very
welcome guest in the United States. Many Americans love his films,”
Ambassador Roemer added.
The incident, ironically, comes at a time when Khan
is preparing for Karan Johar's new film ''My Name Is Khan'', in the
United States, a film touching upon the minority being targeted for
no fault of theirs only because of suspicion.