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India disability activist ‘told to remove trousers’ by airport security

Jeeja Ghosh

Authorities at India’s Kolkata airport have apologised to two disability activists, one of whom says she was asked to remove her trousers, BBC reports.

Polio survivor Kuhu Das was told to remove her callipers even when she told a female security officer she could not do so without taking off her trousers.

Jeeja Ghosh, the second activist who has cerebral palsy, was told she could not fly without an escort. They were flying to Delhi for a meeting on the rights of disabled women.

After protests, they were allowed to travel, but the activists said they felt “insulted and humiliated”. Ms Das, who had polio when she was three years old, told the BBC she had been wearing callipers with titanium rods for many years.Ms Das said she never faced such a problem at airports outside India.

She said the staff of GoAir, the private airline they had flown, told her wheelchair-bound colleague Jeeja Ghosh that she could not travel unless she had an escort. After news of their ordeal was covered by Indian press, Kolkata airport authorities on Monday tweeted an apology to the two activists.

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