SRK seeks to downplay detention episode

SRK seeks to downplay detention episode
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First Published: Sun, Aug 16 2009. 01 24 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Aug 18 2009. 10 33 AM IST
Chicago: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who was detained for two hours at a US airport sparking angry reactions back home, on Sunday sought to downplay the incident as he said it was a procedure and he would not seek an apology for it.
Click here to view a slideshow on Bollywood’s airport aggravations
The 43-year-old actor was detained and questioned on Saturday in Newark airport by immigration officials after his name matched with some names on a common checklist. He was let off at the intervention of Indian Consulate officials.
“I think it is a procedure that needs to be followed. But it is an unfortunate procedure,” a visibly calm Khan said on the sidelines of a function.
The Bollywood actor was here to take part in the South Asian Carnival on the occasion of India’s Independence Day.
Asked whether he would seek an apology for the incident, Khan replied in the negative.
The actor, who figured in US magazine Newsweek’s list of 50 most powerful people in the world, had on Saturday termed the incident as “uncalled for”.
“I did feel bad. I felt angry. I am glad my family wasn’t there. God knows what they would have done to them,” Khan said on Saturday in a statement issued by his office in Mumbai.
“I was really hassled at the American Airport because of my name being Khan...It is a Muslim name and I think the name is common on their checklist,” the actor said.
The Indian Government took up the issue with the US Embassy in New Delhi which said it was ascertaining details about the incident involving the “global icon”.
Meanwhile, the US Customs and Border Protection has denied the allegations that Khan was detained and questioned or that he was singled out because of his name or Asian identity.
The allegations “happen to be incorrect,” its spokesman Elmer Camacho said in New York on Saturday.
“His documents and papers were checked, which were found to be in correct order,” he said.
Indian film fraternity had condemned the episode with his colleagues describing the incident as ‘shocking´, ‘disgraceful´ and ‘madness´.
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First Published: Sun, Aug 16 2009. 01 24 AM IST