After the reports of frisking of former President APJ Abdul Kalam by a private American airline led to a huge uproar in the parliament and the VVIP circle, the Continental Airlines (responsible for the protocol breach) has apologized on Wednesday for any inconvenience caused to the former President.
The airlines issued a statement saying that it has tendered a formal apology to Dr Kalam and sincerely hoped he would fly with them again. “We apologise to Dr.Kalam for any inconvenience caused. The intention was never to offend the sentiments of Dr. Kalam,” a television report quoted from the apology of the Continental Airlines on Wednesday. “We reiterate our commitment to comply with the rules,” the Airlines added.
Earlier on Tuesday frisking of former President A P J Abdul Kalam by the staff of America’s Continental Airline caused uproar in Parliament after which the Government registered an FIR here against the ‘concerned staff’ of the airlines. 77-year-old Kalam was frisked in violation of the mandatory protocol at Delhi International airport before he was to board the Newark-bound Continental Airline flight on April 21. The staff of the airline frisked him after which he was allowed to board the plane. The incident was roundly condemned in Parliament where Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel described the act as ‘unpardonable’ and assured ‘corrective action’.
Later, a case was registered after the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) approached the police against the staff of the American airliner for carrying out pre-embarkation body check of Kalam, which is in gross violation of a BCAS circular which exempts specified VVIPs/VIPs from security checks. “The BCAS has registered an FIR with the SHO, IGI Airport Police Station, against all the concerned staff of the Continental Airlines under Section 11A of Aircraft Act, 1934, for willful violation of the directions issued by BCAS,” an official statement said. Under the Act, the punishment is two years imprisonment or fine upto Rs 10 lakh or both, if found guilty.