Manipuri woman alleges racial harassment at Delhi airport; inquiry ordered
New Delhi: A Manipuri woman has alleged that she was subjected to racial harassment at the international airport here following which an inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
Monika Khangembam alleged that on Saturday an immigration official at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport hurled racist remarks at her when she was on her way to Seoul for a conference.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday that an inquiry has been instituted into the allegation of racial harassment and action will be taken if anyone is found guilty.
“We are examining the case. We have asked for a full report. There have been previous cases of harassment. We will take action if there was a harassment,” he told reporters here.
The inquiry will be conducted by the Bureau of Immigration, which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
After learning about the matter, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj expressed regret over the incident and said she would take up the issue with Home Minister Rajnath Singh “Monika Khangembam – I am sorry to know this. Immigration is not with me. I will speak to my senior colleague Shri @rajnathsingh ji to sensitise Immigration officials at the airport,” Swaraj tweeted.
On her Facebook wall, Khangembam wrote that when she went to the immigration desk at IGI at around 9 pm on Saturday, an official looked at her passport and said, “Indian toh nahi lagti ho” (you don’t look Indian).
He then allegedly smirked at her and asked her how many states comprised the country, in an apparent bid to “know her Indianness”.
She alleged that a lady official at the adjacent counter was giggling while the male officer paid no heed to her.
When Khangembam told him she hailed from Manipur, the officer allegedly asked her to name the states Manipur shares its border with. “I said I was really getting late and he goes like, ‘aircraft aapko chodke kahi nahi jaa rahi. Aaram se jawab do'” (the aircraft isn’t leaving without you. You can answer at ease.).