Omar Abdullah detained at New York airport
Former Jammu & Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah was detained at the John F. Kennedy airport in New York for additional screening by immigration authorities; he spent two-hours in a holding area. Mr. Abdullah has travelled to the US to speak at an event at the New York University. He took to Twitter to express his displeasure at the frequency and 'tiresomeness' of immigration checks.
Omar Abdullah has been pulled out for additional immigration checks multiple times. He claimed on social media that in his last three visits to the United States, he had been subjected to a secondary check every single time. Most recently, in August, it was Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan who was detained at the New Jersey airport for additional immigration checks as well.
Omar Abdullah is scheduled to speak at an event on October 21 that has been organized by students of the New York University. He is expected to share the dais with senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Subramanian Swamy and former Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf.
Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Thrice in three visits, the randomness is growing tiresome now." He continued, "I'm here to speak at an event organized by NYU but I almost wish I'd stayed at home instead. Ah well, that's two hours well & truly wasted!!"
Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan has been detained at the New York and New Jersey airports in 2009, 2012 and 2016. Previously, in 2010, Meera Shankar, the Indian Ambassador to US, was given a full pat-down because she was wearing a saree. In 2011, Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was frisked at the JFK Airport, New York despite having undergone the prescribed private-screening.
The GEP is a 'US- Customs & Border Protection-programme' which enables expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers entering the US. Seven countries including South Korea, Mexico and Canada benefit from GEP. India was included in this list last September; the modalities are being worked out.