I am a US Qualified Registered Microbiologist-Medical Technologist, operating my own Clinical Lab. I have been an activist advocating consumer, civic, citizen's rights for Thirty plus years & a Frequent contributor to the letters to Editor.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Frisking Kalam -reply Posted on July 21, 2009 by kaushik sriram Frisking generally means checking a person physically with hands. I am not sure of

A Very balanced view kaushik.
Frisking is a gross personal violation. It should not be undertaken without sufficient probable cause.
But all this seems to be ignored under the “Homeland security” paranoia.
There is really no proof of averted potential hijacks by such violation.
It was unpardonable that it was applied to no less than the President of India.
It is just a tip of the American Arrogance, that too by a cheap airlines cheap employees.
It is a matter of deep national shame.
No point in fining INR 10 lakhs or two years imprisonment
after successful prosecution.
The Airlines has to be banned from operating from India-no less a punishment will suffice.
But this is beyond protocol. I have not heard of any ordinary person or VIP carrying anything personally on board to either hijack the aircraft or damage national property of the destination.
If the security cannot identify potential threats who have walked through the nonintrusive security measures, then they have no right to man these highly sensitive places.
Even according to American Law there has to be a probable cause for search.

Posted on July 21, 2009 by kaushik sriram

Frisking generally means checking a person physically with hands. I am not sure of what exactly media means by frisking in this case. If it was just passing through a metal detector (gate type set up)- this issue could be left as it is- we are talking about Bombs and lives.. But if media means frisking was physical then it’s a case.

Is this the first time Dr Kalam is travelling into the US?? Was he checked like this even before? I know he visited the US in couple of times as an ex-president. None of those times he was checked like this… Having looked across reports from different sources on this issue, it really irked me just like any Indian. But for sure Dr Kalam wouldn’t have given a damn for being frisked. So, is Dr Kalam the first Indian VVIP travelling to the US through the Continental Airlines? Who else were similarly frisked?

Now to the point frisking in Airports with few personal experiences. As far as I have travelled even in the United States no one ever touched me in the name of checking so far. So clear is that passengers are strictly informed to remove any metals attached to their body or clothes like Belt, keys, watches and so on. Typically if one passes without any BEEP across the Metal detector gate, he/she is out of problem. There might be checking in some cases. There is nothing wrong coorinating with the administration. I have been to some of the major airports in the US and it’s the same everywhere. Now, Continental Airlines claim that Frisking a person before boarding the flight is usual in the US and they have followed the protocol is nothing but stupidity. It doesn’t happen for even a normal passenger here unless and until it’s really needed (specific cases). It’s in India that frisking is done by officers in the gates and metal detectors are used and this creates a big time mess. But even then it is done perfectly and I am sure no one can cross it with any weapons.

I suspect a lack of cooperation between Indian Security and Airlines officials. As far as I know there is protocol from Indian Aviation not to frisk VVIPs who are basically Central Mnisters, High Court and Supreme Court Judges and high ranking diplomats.

I really couldn’t understand how TSA’s (US Aiport Protection Agency) security protocol can be applied on a Foreign land unless otherwise accepted by the Local Government. If Continental claims that it has done something that standard and agreed upon- go catch the Indian Aviation Minister and seek an explanation why, when and with whom was this agreed- is it because we are not capable of checking people properly or we do not have needed equipements. If Continental’s claim is false – again go catch the Indian Aviation Minister and his team – leave Kalam – why were normal passengers frisked by a foreign authority for these many years and who gave them the right to do so in our soil?

Lets first make our protocol clear – I am sure the government is taking double standards here and have almost deviated from what was most important. It’s trying to take some stands for the sake of Kalam and some stands for the sake of the US. But it fails to understand that both Dr Kalam, indians and US would be happy if it takes a single perfect decision. What our protocol looks like and who agrees to it and who doesn’t?


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