The US Immigration guys have always been notorious in treating a few of the well-known Indian personalities, in order to meet their country's "highly sophisticated" security standards. There are many instances at US airports in which Indian celebrities, scientists and diplomats have received an undesirable welcome.
In one such latest case, Indian film star Shah Rukh Khan was detained for about two hours at New York's White Plain airport before being cleared by immigration authorities.
According to the sources, the Bollywood star reached the destined New York airport in a private plane accompanied by Neeta Ambani (wife of industrialist Mukesh Ambani) to deliver a lecture at Yale University. While others got their immigration clearance done immediately, the actor was detained.
Shah Rukh Khan is a very popular face in the US. He has done a number of shows across the US.
Hours after Shah Rukh Khan's detention, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna directed Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, to take up the issue with the US authorities. Later, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Department sent a letter to the Indian Consulate expressing regret over the detaention of the Bollywood actor.
Krishna, who is presently in Moscow, reportedly was upset with US immigration department officials who haven't stopped repeating the grilling of many famous Indian personalities, despite several notices by Indian envoys.
Responding to the letter of regret by the US Customs and Border Protection Department to the Indian Consulate on Shah Rukh's detention, "first it has become a habit these days to first detain and then apologise. This can't continue," Krishna told reporters.
This was not the first time for Shah Rukh Khan got detained at a US airport, despite carrying his huge stardom baggage. In 2009, he was grilled for about two-hours when he was in New York for the promotion of his movie "My Name is Khan."
Commenting on the 2009 detention episode, Shah Rukh Khan then said he was stopped as his name popped up on a computer alert list.