Woman Who Uses Wheelchair Forced to Stand by Airport Security
Virali Modi, 27, shared a horrible security experience while traveling through Mumbai Chhatrapati Airport to London on Monday.
The young woman uses a wheelchair and was made to stand up for a security check by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) staff at the airport, despite her numerous attempts to tell the security staff that she is unable to physically stand.
The cramp was so painful, that my leg went into a spasm which made it cramp even more. I wanted to file a complaint about the way she treated me, but her senior was nowhere in sight. Is this how the CISF are trained? Pt. 3
— Virali Modi (@Virali01) November 26, 2018
Modi said on Twitter that the CISF security personnel forcibly lifted her legs which caused her legs to cramp.
“She kept forcing me to stand up and then she went on to say that she’d lift me up and get someone else to pat my backside,” Modi said.
She added, “The cramp was so painful, that her leg went into a spasm which made it cramp even more.”
Modi wanted to file a complaint on the way she was treated but no senior staff was available at the time.
“Every other international airport has chemical strips to check the wheelchair and shoes, a disabled passenger doesn’t need to get out of her wheelchair. So why in Mumbai’s International Airport?” she added.
The Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, replied to Modi’s post apologizing for the treatment she received and asked CISF officials to investigate Modi’s claim and remedy how CISF handles security checks for travelers with disabilities.
Thank you Sir for your apology but I want to know why Mumbai Airports don’t have chemical strips to check wheelchairs? Why do I need to shift to another chair for my chair to be scanned? It is inconvenient.
— Virali Modi (@Virali01) November 27, 2018
Alternatively, CISF responded on Twitter that their employee “was carrying out mandatory pre-embarkation security check and she was polite too during interaction”.
“On seeing the lady concerned, CISF officers arrived at the spot, pacified her and explained the situation,” it added.
CISF claims they asked Modi to move to a nearby frisking area as her wheelchair was too large to be scanned and denied any forceful behavior, but rather was following protocol.
The check was carried out as per procedure and any inconvenience meted out was unintentional. Security is of prime importance, at the same time CISF takes care of specially abled / needy passengers in a dignified manner. 2/2
— [email protected] (@CISFHQrs) November 27, 2018
Modi, who describes herself as a disability rights activist, called out CISF on Twitter saying: “You’re trying to prove that I’m wrong. Please check the CCTV camera footage from yesterday from 12 a.m. until 2:30 a.m.”
Today, Modi shared a photo of herself at the hospital. She claims that CISF’s treatment of her has caused a constant spasticity in her leg. The doctor’s prescribed her morphine, and when that didn’t work, they gave her a narcotic injection and muscle relaxer to help with the pain. The doctor also suggested she get an MRI.
@CISFHQrs @jayantsinha I’m in the hospital because of the “polite” way your CSIF agent behaved with me. pic.twitter.com/oOCKoJqYDB
— Virali Modi (@Virali01) November 28, 2018
Modi’s experience isn’t limited to her own. Other travelers with disabilities have similar stories and some have even shared their airport security nightmares on Twitter following the sharing of Modi’s experience.
Modi reminded her followers and CISF on Twitter why she’s speaking out: “Forget about a woman not understanding, this is basically about human rights and disability rights. This is not how a disabled passenger should be treated. Simple.”