Not just Boston, Azam had a problem at Delhi airport as well

KhanUP's Urban Development Minister Azam Khan. (Indian Express)

Before his run-in with the Boston airport authorities, UP's Urban Development Minister Azam Khan also reportedly accused the security staff at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi of being "anti-Muslim".

Read Express Editorial: The response to Azam Khan's frisking at a US is disproportionate and telling

The incident occurred on Wednesday evening, when Khan was on his way to Boston as part of the delegation accompanying Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The Samajwadi Party's Rajya Sabha member, Chaudhary Munabbar Saleem, went to the airport to meet Khan, but was reportedly not allowed inside the VVIP lounge.

"The security staff stopped me from entering the VVIP lounge. Being an MP, I am entitled to use the VVIP lounge. I showed my identity card, but they uttered disgraceful things about Parliament," claimed Saleem.

The MP said Khan, who was inside the VVIP lounge, then came out and reprimanded the security staff. "Azam Saheb told them they have an anti-Muslim mindset. They cannot see a Muslim MP going inside the VVIP lounge. I cannot tell you the abusive language they used," said Saleem.

In protest, Khan too reportedly did not use the VVIP lounge, and used the general gate for boarding his flight. While the CM was sitting inside the VVIP lounge at the time of the incident, he did not intervene.

"Now I realise that even the security staff at our airports have American mindset. When being an MP, I am given such treatment, it will be worse for ordinary Muslims," Saleem said.

The MP said the airport security staff later apologised and asked them to use the VVIP lounge, but Khan did not relent. He also reportedly told Saleem to lodge a complaint with the Prime Minister's Office. Saleem has complained about the "high-handedness'' of the security staff to the PMO.

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