"Are brown people not suspicious if we have European partners or co-travellers?" asked a 30-year-old woman in her Facebook post, who was travelling from Bengaluru to Iceland on March 29. As per her post, she was told to strip by Frankfurt airport security officers.
After the news emerged, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj sought a report from the Consulate General of India in the German city.
Shruthi Basappa said she had cleared the full body scan but the security officers still had their doubts. She told them that she was willing to go through a pat down search but requested they be gentle about it as she had gone through an abdominal surgery just two weeks back. Also, she had the medical records to back her request but they refused.
"I was asked to remove the dress I was wearing. Yes. Remove my clothes. Is this the new norm? Isn't it enough to always be the one random person picked out of line that now I need to wrap my head around the fact that I might be asked to strip? Do I need to wax my legs? Do I need to carefully put together a special 'for travel lingerie' set that has nothing to do with seducing my husband but more about hiding the outrage, anger, humiliation and disgust that is an inevitable part of travelling through airports?" she said in her post on Facebook.
At the airport, Ms Basappa had stood her ground, refusing to pull up her dress and demanded that her husband be called in. She says the tone and tenor of the officers changed after they saw her Icelandic husband. The strip search quickly turned into a pat down, something she was willing to do much before.
"How was I not a threat then? I dread to think if I was alone or my husband not European what would have happened" she asked.