New Delhi: Virali Modi, a wheelchair-bound disability rights activist, who holds an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, on September 9 alleged that she was asked by a CISF woman constable to stand up for security check at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The incident took place when she was travelling to Mumbai from Delhi.
Modi took to Twitter to express resentment over the incident and said she was asked to stand up from her wheelchair from woman CISF official for security check.
“When I reached the security, one of the CISF women started forcing me to stand up for security checking,” she wrote on Twitter.
Paralysed after a spinal cord injury in 2006, she said she has never had to face such discrimination or harassment at international airports.
In a complaint to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the paramilitary force mandated to provide security at almost 60 airports across India, Modi said: “I am disabled from the last 13 years. I am unable to walk and stand. I was travelling today (Monday) from IGI Airport, Terminal 3 on SpiceJet Flight (SG8723) to Mumbai.”
Because of her disability, she said, she had surrendered her personal wheelchair to the check-in counter as cargo.
“I had appointed a porter to help me to my seat on the flight. Upon reaching the security check, I had the worst experience with one of your female CISF (personnel). She started forcing me to stand up, even though the porter and I told her multiple times that I could not stand. She refused to do my check.”
Modi said that despite showing her passport which proves that she travels internationally even after being a wheelchair-user, the CISF staffer went on to accuse her of “acting and doing drama”.
She also said that a few years ago, she faced a similar incident at the Mumbai airport where the CISF staff insisted she stand up. When she said she couldn’t, one of the women troopers pulled so hard at her leg that she had to be hospitalised.
She also referred to the ‘Accessible India’ campaign that was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. “The campaign is aimed at differently-abled individuals. Yet there has been no implementation so far,” she said.