Security forces at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati “strip-searched” an 80-year-old differently-abled woman on March 24 causing much uproar.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) staff, responsible for security at the Guwahati airport, asked the wheelchair-bound woman from Nagaland to undergo additional screening after the mandatory security check to ascertain a metal rod detected near her hipbone. When told that the woman had undergone a hip replacement surgery last year, the security forces apparently asked her to undress.
A woman CISF personnel allegedly made the woman take off her clothes even after she repeatedly said that she had the hip implant.
The woman’s daughter, Dolly Kikon, in a series of tweets, said that her differently-abled mother was made to strip by CISF at Guwahati Airport.
“It is disgusting! My 80-year-old disabled mother was forced to pull down her undergarment and get naked. Why? Why?” Dolly Kikon tweeted.
My 80 year old disabled mom was made to strip at the CISFsecurity check at Guwahati airport. The security personnel wanted "proof" of her titanium hip implant and forced her to undress. @himantabiswa @guwahatiplus @GuwahatiAirport
Is that how we treat seniors
— Dolly Kikon (@DollyKikon) March 24, 2022
Replying to her tweet, Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said: “Looking into this.”
Later, authorities at Guwahati airport said that the woman with “reduced mobility” was requested for additional checking as a metal plate was placed in her hipbone. “A passenger with reduced mobility aged about 80 years, travelling from Guwahati to Delhi, was requested to go through mandatory security screening. Since the passenger had a metal plate placed in her hipbone, it led to the CISF team further requesting for checking,” a statement from the Guwahati airport said.
“The procedure made the passenger uncomfortable and she lodged a complaint with CISF. Her daughter tweeted the incident that created an uproar instantly. Later on, the complainant visited airport and discussed it with DC, CISF and Chief Airport Officer,” the statement added.
Dear Ma'am, we understand that the CISF and Security team have contacted you immediately to further assist the passengers and ensure comfort. The Safety and Security of all our passengers is our topmost priority. We eagerly look forward to serving you at Guwahati Airport.
— GUWAHATI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (@GuwahatiAirport) March 24, 2022
“The passenger was politely explained on the mandatory security protocol that places the safety and security of all our passengers as the topmost priority. At Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, the operator will be watchful to ensure such that similar incident never gets repeated,” the statement further added.
The Adani Group had taken over the operations and management of Guwahati Airport since October 2021.