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Kashmiri activist Yana Mir accuses Delhi Customs of ‘harassment’ at IGI Airport

New Delhi, Feb 26, 2024
Kashmiri activist Yana Mir has accused the Delhi Customs department of harassing her during checking at the IGI Airport recently after her return to the national capital from London.

However, responding to her allegations, the Delhi Customs said that Mir did not cooperate, adding Mir “felt needlessly offended” even as “the staff remained courteous throughout”.

Recently, in the British Parliament building, Mir had said that she is safe in India, in her home in Kashmir and her speech also went viral on social media platforms.

Mir, who also calls herself Kashmir’s first female vlogger and journalist, took to Twitter at 7 a.m. to express her experience, stating: “What I said in London about India: I am FREE AND SAFE IN INDIA.”

However, she described her reception at Delhi airport as less than welcoming, detailing how she was questioned about her Louis Vuitton shopping bags and asked to produce receipts.

The journalist, known for her outspoken views, contrasted the perception of her in London as an “Indian media warrior” with how she was labelled by Delhi Customs as a “brand smuggler”.

“Madam, scan your bag, open your bag, why you have Louis Vuitton shopping bags? Did you pay for them? Where are the bills? What Londeners think of me: INDIAN MEDIA WARRIOR What Delhi Customs thinks of me: Brand Smuggler,” she said in the tweet.

Delhi Customs responded, asserting that bag scanning of international passengers is routine and that Mir’s luggage was ultimately scanned after she refused to cooperate initially.

They emphasised the importance of following procedures and treating all passengers equally, regardless of their status or profession.

“Bag scanning of international passengers is done routinely. While other passengers put their luggage inside the scanner without any fuss, Yana Mir felt needlessly offended. Staff remained courteous throughout. Privileges are not above law. Footage tells the story,” read the Delhi Customs reply to her with the videos.

While Mir insisted that she was not seeking special treatment, she criticised the alleged lack of courtesy and professionalism in the handling of her case, calling it “dictatorial”.

Delhi Customs, however, maintained that their staff remained courteous throughout the process, as evidenced by surveillance footage.

“Yana Mir did not cooperate at all when requested to get her bags scanned. Her luggage was ultimately picked up by airline staff and Customs officer for scanning as seen in the footage,” the Delhi Customs tweet added.(Agency)




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