Aggrieved that he was allegedly insulted despite telling the officials that he was an elected representative, the parliamentarian said he would raise the matter with the Union Government.
P Venugopal, the Member of Parliament from neighbouring Tiruvallur belonging to the ruling AIADMK, arrived in the AI-976 flight that landed in Chennai airport at 8.50 am on Tuesday. According to Venugopal, he and his son were among the last few passengers to reach the area earmarked for scanning the boarding passes. “When I picked up my bag and tried to reach them across the barricade, they started misbehaving with me. They were speaking in a rough manner, as if I might break some rule. Thereon, the issue flared up,” the MP said. He charged that most of the passengers have to undergo similar experience at the hands of the officials at the Immigration.
Shocked by the way immigration officials treated him and his son, who accompanied Venugopal in his trip from Goa, the MP said he had informed the officials that he was a Member of Parliament. However, despite this, he had to plead with them to get even the minimum respect as an air passenger, Venugopal alleged. “I have travelled through the same airport many times. But today, some of them even commented on our physical appearance,” he added.
“It was a sad situation. I wonder if it was my attire and appearance that prompted them to behave in this manner,” said the politician, clearly sounding upset over the episode when DT Next contacted him hours after the incident. Apparently feeling humiliated by the behaviour of the officials at the immigration counter, he has now decided to take up the issue with the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
However, calls and text messages from this newspaper to Xavier Dhanraj, the Chief Immigration Officer, to get his version of the incident went unanswered.