Para cyclist asked to remove prosthetic limb at airport


A month and a half after he apprised the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Union Civil Aviation Ministry of ‘insensitive security checks’ for specially abled people at international airports, para cyclist, Aditya Mehta was again asked to remove his prosthetic leg at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International airport.

On Tuesday, the two-time silver medalist at the Para-Asian Cycling Games, was stopped by a CISF official at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, who asked him to remove his prosthetic leg during security checks. The leg was then run through the X-ray scanner.Mehta, who had to catch a flight in the next 45 minutes, pleaded with officials to let him go. However, he claimed that after being forced to remove his prosthetic leg, he tried to put it on quickly, after which he started bleeding.

Mehta also added that removing the prosthetic limb every time is humiliating for amputees.

On August 26, at the same airport, he had gone through the same treatment, after which he decided to voice his complaint. On August 29, he wrote to the PMO, Civil Aviation Ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) complaining about the humiliating treatment he had faced at the hands of CISF officials.

“On August 29, I wrote a letter to Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the union civil aviation minister in which I urged him to introduce a security check system in place whereby special paper or gloves can lightly pat the prosthetic limb or wheelchair and then the paper could be passed through the X-ray machine,” Mehta told DNA.

“This is the state of affairs in our country. The only response I got was from the Prime Minister’s Office which said they have petitioned the civil aviation ministry,” Mehta said. He added that while the DGCA had acknowledged receiving his letter, no action had so far been taken.

Mehta also alleged that officials has misbehaved with him during his ordeal, with some even saying that his injury was not their problem.

However, CISF officials stationed at Bengaluru airport, refuted Mehta’s allegations. They said that an enquiry into the case has already been initiated.

“We have been following the procedure of asking the physically challenged people for removing prosthetic limbs. On Tuesday, we asked Aditya to remove his prosthetic limb in the presence of the crew members of the airlines by which he was travelling. There was no misbehaviour from our side. An enquiry into the case is going on,” a CISF official in the control room of the Kempegowda International Airport told DNA.

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