A recent incident involving Kashmiri journalist Yana Mir at the Delhi airport has sparked debate on social media this week. Mir, who recently delivered a speech in the UK Parliament criticizing Pakistan, was subjected to additional screening of her bags upon arriving back in India. Videos of the incident posted by Mir have since gone viral.

Speech Criticizing Pakistan Draws Praise

Earlier this month, Mir spoke at a Sankalp Divas event hosted by the UK Parliament in London. In her speech, she rejected comparisons to Malala Yousafzai, stating she felt “free and safe” as a Kashmiri woman in India.

Mir denounced Pakistan’s attempts to “dent India’s image on the international stage.” Her comments were praised by many as courageous.

Scrutiny From Airport Officials After Arrival

However, just days after the speech, Mir had a different experience upon returning home. At the New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, she was asked by customs officials to have her bags scanned and opened for inspection.

In videos posted to social media, Mir alleged officials questioned her about carrying luxury goods without receipts. She accused staff of being rude and harassing her.

Customs Defends Screening Process

Delhi Customs has since responded that scanning of passenger bags is simply routine protocol. They stated Mir “felt needlessly offended” while staff remained courteous.

The department shared CCTV footage they claim shows Mir refusing to cooperate with scanning requests. They say privileges are not above the law.

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Mir Fires Back at Claims

For her part, Mir maintains that the footage shows her complying with the scan request. She argues officials treated her in an arrogant, high-handed manner and did not assist with her heavy luggage.

The viral incident has sparked divisive debate online over protocol, privilege and patriotism. Both sides maintain CCTV footage supports their stance.

As rhetoric escalates, experts caution that neither targeting nor exceptionalism should influence legal procedures at airports. The case remains a lightning rod for complex issues of nationalism and dissent surrounding Kashmir.

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