India's sari-clad ambassador gets pat-down at US airport

December 9, 2010 04:22


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Mississippi — India's sari-clad ambassador was pulled from an airport security line and patted down by a TSA (US Transportation Security Administration) agent in Mississippi after attending a conference, an act one state agency official called "unfortunate."

Meera Shankar, India's ambassador to the United States, was subjected to the search on Saturday after speaking to an international studies program at Mississippi State University.

Witnesses said Shankar was told she was pulled from a security line because of her dress — she was wearing a sari that drapes across the body — and patted down by a female security agent.

A Transportation Security Administration spokesman said diplomats are not exempt from pat-down searches and that bulky clothing is one reason for additional screening.

Officials at the Indian embassy in Washington declined to discuss what happened.

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