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Paracyclist Aditya Mehta humiliated yet again

Sitam Chaki

The specially abled athletes in our country continue to suffer insults. This in spite of the amazing performances of the athletes in the recently concluded Rio Paralympics. The latest incident concerns paracyclist, Aditya Mehta.

Mehta has criticized Bengaluru Airport officials for strip-searching him and forcing him remove his prosthetic limb. The incident occurred early Tuesday morning, while Mehta was boarding a flight to Hyderabad.

Mehta, incidentally is a two-time silver medallist at the 2013 Para Asian cycling championship. He expressed his annoyance over the issue on his Facebook page. He also called the procedure he had to undergo at the Airport ‘painful’, and reiterated that it leaves a ‘psychological scar on a physically challenged person’s mind’.

What is even more outrageous is the fact that the Indian paracyclist was also left bleeding after being forced to remove his prosthetic limb. As if the “psychological hurt” was not enough.

Two months after a similar incident of humiliation, Aditya has had to go through the ordeal again. He was forced to remove his prosthetic limb on 11 October and while hurriedly wearing it back to catch the flight he ended up hurting himself.

When Mehta informed the officials about his injury, he was curtly told that it was his problem. The process of removing and wearing back the prosthesis took more than 40 minutes and at the end of it, he was bleeding.

“Many of the officials at other airports were sensible enough to understand when I told them about my injury and they let me go. But at the Kempegowda Airport, the same officer Mr Thakur Das who was very rude the previous time, gave me an equally humiliating treatment this time too. He was too reluctant to let me go and stripped me yet another time with the people around mocking at me,” Mehta wrote in the Facebook post.

Mehta also revealed that he had been to three other airports but the officials there did not ask him to remove his limb. “I told them the security officials can check the ETD. In fact, I had been to three other airports, where they did not force me to remove my limb.”

It is disappointing that even after multiple such incidents, the authorities have not taken adequate measures.

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