‘Do you sleep with other men when your husband is at work’, an Immigration officer allegedly asked a traveler at Delhi Airport

| Friday, March 27, 2015 - 19:06
First Published |

Harassment charges against Airport official

BENGALURU: A homemaker was allegedly verbally sexually harassed by an immigration officer at the India Gandhi International Airport, Delhi on March 18 while she was flying to Hong Kong.

The woman, hailing from Bengaluru was flying to Hong Kong via a Delhi flight. She claimed that an immigration officer harassed her by quizzing her several uncomfortable personal questions. 

The incident reported by the woman reportedly took place while the woman was at the immigration counter ahead of boarding her flight for Hong Kong where she was scheduled to meet her husband.

The officer not harassed her at the counter during the immigration process but also continued by following her along at the escalator, between the domestic and international transfer, said the complaint filed by the woman.

The family of the lady has filed an official complaint with the immigration authorities via an e-mail but is waiting for a response from them.

According to the complaint, the woman was asked dirty questions such as how many children do you have, do you drink, do you smoke, do you eat chicken, do you sleep with other men when your husband is at work?

Repeating it four times, the officer allegedly reiterated if she had undergone a surgery for birth control. He even asked her whether she would like to have her third child with him.

Here is the full text of the complaint sent to Commissioner, Bureau Of Immigration, Delhi PK Bhardwaj.

Dear Mr PK Bhardwaj ji

On the night of March the 18th at 21:30, at the Indra Gandhi International Airport my daughter in law landed from Bangalore and was transferred to international onto a Hong Kong flight scheduled at 02:00 the next morning.

I would like to complain, about an immigration officer who verbally sexually harassed my daughter in law not only during the immigration process at the desk, but also by following her along the travelator, between domestic and international transfer.

I would like to explicitly mention some of the questions/comments made by him

  • How many children do you have?
  • Where have you left them? You young girls have children and then don't care and leave them with parents and do 'majja ' with men.
  • Do u drink, do u smoke, do u eat chicken,do u have fun with men when your husband is not there
  • Have you done surgery for birth control.? ( this was asked 4 times)
  • Do you sleep with other men when your husband is at work?
  • Would you like to have the third child with me because my wife doesn't want to have the 3rd child?
  • Why are you going alone to Hongkong, to have fun with your husband, or anyone else? Will you have fun with me?
  • Are u staying with anyone else in Hong Kong?
  • Give me your personal number, which I could call you when your husband isn't at home

She was in fear and so, removed her phone and spoke to a friend loudly about this immigration officer and only when he walked out of the glass door and was constantly looking up as she was taking the escalator up.

As she was travelling alone and was in a state of shock, to react to this situation or even register a complaint, so on her return on the March 23rd at 00:30, from Hong Kong, she along with her husband / my son visited the cabin of AFRRO Mr. Alok Kumar Verma, to file a complaint.

Mr. Verma, handed out the leaflet of the Department of immigration complaint handling contact information and requested to file it online and he could not officially take a complaint.

Whilst at the cabin, the officer alleged, walks into the cabin, for some of his other duties and my daughter in law identified him in front of the presiding AFRRO.

On a quick interrogation, he agreed that he had confronted my daughter-in-law that night. He denied completely that he spoke to her by leaving his desk and following her on the travelator, at the transfer area. The name of this officer is Mr. Vinod Kumar, Designation Immigration assistant.
I request you to kindly take action on this officer and also provide the evidence of CCTV camera footage of that transfer area, that night.

This crime should be taken up very seriously, considering that a Government officer had the audacity to misbehave in such a secure area, such as the airport with a single lady.

In light of such bad media coverage of Delhi, as a city synonymous with poor protection of women, the last resort will be highlighting this event to the press and media.

I kindly request you to send me an acknowledgement and your further plan of action.

Best Regards

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