NEW DELHI, July 11 - Questioning a woman hailing from Manipur laced with a strong racial overtone has landed an immigration official into trouble, with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj promising to look into the alleged harassment and racism at the immigration desk at Delhi�s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The action came after Monika Khangembam alleged on Saturday that an immigration official asked her a series of offensive questions in an apparent bid to ascertain her
Manipuri woman alleges racism, harassment at Delhi airport�s immigration desk, the social media was abuzz. Hours later, Swaraj tweeted that she would speak to Cabinet colleague and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to sensitise immigration officials.
�I will speak to my senior colleague @rajnathsingh to sensitise Immigration officials at the airport,� tweeted Swaraj.
Reacting to the incident, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said that action will be taken as and when details are given to us. �Action will be taken as and when details are given to us�, he said.
On Saturday, Khan-gembam wrote on her Facebook wall that when she went to the immigration desk at the IGI around 9 pm, 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 comprise the country, in an apparent bid to �know her Indianness�.
When Khangembam told the official she hailed from Manipur, he allegedly asked her to name the States Manipur shared 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.)
Khangembam was en-route to Seoul for a global women�s conference. A Home Ministry spokesperson said if any such complaint is made it will be looked into.
�I wouldn�t have minded if he asked me trip-related questions like �what�s the conference about�, �how long are you there�, �where do you work currently�, �who is funding the trip�, etc. It�s even perfectly fine to ask where I am from but it�s not fine bossing around asking with that sarcastic smile �How many States are there in India?� �Name the States bordering Manipur�. This is not related to the trip nor I am a kid (sic),� she said.
She said she hadn�t raised the issue at the time as she was getting late for her flight. �I can only do anything after I am back after 15 days. I couldn�t get the name of the officer but a friend working at the IGI airport told me they can find out from CCTV footage.�
�Me and a lot of people from North East have constantly faced subtle racist jibes whether in the form of a sarcastic remark, smile, or attitude... Maybe this time it was something tangible so I could express it. Sadly you have to be killed to prove there is racism.�