UP minister to cut short US visit

Lucknow, April 26 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Minister Mohammad Azam Khan has decided to cut short his US trip after his “long and humiliating frisking” at the Logan airport in Boston, an official here said.

In a statement issued by his personal assistant Muktinath Jha late Thursday, the minister alleged that on the pretext of frisking him homeland security officials humiliated him, and that he was targeted because he is a Muslim.

Although Azam Khan, who is the urban development and parliamentary affairs minister, would deliver a lecture at the Harvard Business School (HBS) on organising the Maha Kumbh Mela as planned, he would not participate in the lunch and dinner functions and other events, the statement added.

“The minister will officially register his protest at the HBS where he is to deliver a lecture on the successful management of Kumbh and crowd management,” his assistant told IANS.

The minister alleged that he was detained in the immigration chamber for more than an hour.

“This is simply unacceptable”, he told his secretary over telephone while asking him to issue a statement on his behalf.

The minister said that he would decide his future course of action after returning to India while adding that he regretted his decision to go to the US.

Azam is part of a delegation invited by the prestigious business school to deliver a lecture on organising the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and the challenges faced by the administration in managing millions of people from across the world who attended the mega event, billed as the biggest religious congregation in the world, from Jan 14-March 12 this year.

HBS had sent research teams to Maha Kumbh Mela, following which the B-school invited the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and his team to its US campus to share their experiences with students and faculty members. The team will make a 40-minute presentation Friday.

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