In a disgraceful sequence of events, Paralympic cycling champion Aditya Mehta has been strip searched not once, but twice, at Bengaluru and Delhi airports.
The two-time para-cycling silver medallist at the Asian Paralympics 2013 was asked to put his belongings, including his prosthetic leg, through the airport scanner at the Bengaluru airport. The humiliation did not stop there, as just days later, security personnel at the Delhi International Airport demanded that Mehta remove his clothes and prosthetic leg.
Mehta has taken to social media to slam the authorities for their insensitivity. Mehta has vented his anger at the CISF officers who were in charge of security checks at both airports.
After his harrowing experience at Bengaluru, Mehta wrote, “There cannot be a worse treatment than this for an amputee. On one hand we are trying our best to make lives better for the amputees at Central Armed Forces and on other side there are these uncivil officers who try to put us down. It was really humiliating for me to receive such immoral treatment. I was asked to take off my prosthetic limb and was almost stripped off.”
However, four days later, Mehta was again put through the same treatment, this time at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Another Facebook post followed: “This is ridiculous! Another bad day! But this time I didn’t give them a chance to put me down. Despite all the campaigning since four days, I was again asked to remove my prosthetic leg during security check at the Delhi Airport. A rude Sub-Inspector didn’t have the courtesy to talk politely. He was adamant that he is not going to let me go until I take off my prosthetic limb for security check.”
The post continued, “However, Assistant Commandant Rajeev, who was present at the site was kind enough to tell that they were just following the guidelines given by Bureau of Civil Aviation. He also mentioned that BCAS doesn’t have enough funds to have body scanner which could be a sensitised way of checking. How pathetic is that!”
Officials have said that the measures to check Mehta and any disabled person with prosthetic limbs was followed as per the guidelines of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security of India
“The rules do not exempt the screening of prosthesis, so we have no choice but to check them,” said a Directorate General of Civil Aviation official.