SRK detained at US airport, released after questioning

SRK detained at US airport, released after questioning
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First Published: Sat, Aug 15 2009. 04 43 PM IST
Updated: Sat, Aug 15 2009. 04 43 PM IST
Washington: Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan was detained on Satuday morning at the Newark Airport in the United States and was questioned for about two hours before the Indian mission intervened and secured his release.
Khan was detained by the Immigration officers, who wanted to know why he was visiting the US and other such questions.
Commenting on the incident, Khan said that he was detained as his name was similar to someone else’.
”I was taken aback ...I was taken to a room where there were several others waiting for secondary immigration checks,” a visibly upset Khan said, while speaking about the incident.
The Bollywood actor said he kept telling the authorities that he was an actor and requested them to allow him to speak to his contacts in the US, but was disallowed to use his phone.
He said the immigration officials told him since his name popped up on their computer and he needed to be questioned.
Khan said there were some immigration officials who knew him and vouched for him but they declined to entertain his plea, saying they have to follow rules.
He said after he was stopped he sent messages to his home and his secretary and Congress MP Rajiv Shukla, who informed the Indian Mission which came to his rescue.
“I have always been worried about travelling to America. I shy away from all this. I don’t look like a terrorist going to do anything to the country.
“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.
”I told them I am a movie star and had recently visited the country for the shooting for a film” Khan said, he said, adding that the particular immigration officer refused to oblige.
Khan, who was heading for Chicago to attend Independence Day celebrations along with Bollywood celebrities Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif and Bipasha Basu, said he had all the relevant papers despite which he was detained.
“I am always reluctant to come down here (US). They always do it and it’s odd travelling alone. My guard wasn’t given visa from India and I was feeling disturbed. They kept on asking silly and irrelevant questions like phone numbers and hotel number,” Khan said.
The incident comes two months after Malayalam superstar Mammootty was detained at the JFK airport due to his surname Ismail. Legendary singer Mukesh’s grandson actor Neil Nitin Mukesh had alleged that he was detained at an American airport as authorities said that he did not look like an Indian.
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First Published: Sat, Aug 15 2009. 04 43 PM IST