Hardeep Puri At Bush Intercontinental: Leading Indian Diplomat Tamps Down Outrage

India's leading ambassador to the U.N. is reacting to outrage about his security check at Bush Intercontinental by telling the media in his native country it wasn't as bad as reports indicated.

India's top diplomat to the UN Hardeep Puri today sought to downplay the incident involving him at the Houston Airport in Texas, saying he did not allow removal of his turban nor was he patted down.

"No pat down took place," Puri told Press Trust of India reacting to reports that he was humiliated and that he was asked to remove his turban during a security check a month ago.

We can't really vouch for the translation in the first story we linked to, but apparently there was some controversy over allegations that the official was ordered to remove his turban and have it inspected.

Puri says there was some initial confusion over whether TSA employees could search his turban, but that the matter was cleared up.

he said the security officials did indeed ask to check his turban.

Puri then told the guards that he was aware of the new rules, which allowed him to check his own turban and the guards could then swipe his hands to check for any metal traces.

"I said I would comply with the procedures but did not allow them to touch my turban," he said.

"The guard there was unaware of the new procedures so I told him to go check with his superior officer," he said.

The security officials then proceeded to go and check with his senior, which took about 20 to 25 minutes and Puri kept waiting.

Puri told the media the guards "were just doing their job."

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly