Irrfan Khan says if detained again at US airport, will return to India

Actor says tired of detentions because of his name.

Bureau Report

NEW DELHI: Actor Irrfan Khan, who has acted in several Hollywood ventures, including in the Oscar-winning films Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire, says that he has been detained at several US airports because of his name, and has become tired of it to the point that next time it happens, he will buy a ticket and return back to India.

“It’s humiliating. They don’t even disclose the reason,” says Khan in an interview to Rajat Sharma’s show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ on India TV.

“Actually, I don’t use my surname Khan in films, but in passports, surname and religion are required. I was stopped not once, but several times at airports in the US,” he says. “Once I told the immigration people, why do you issue visas, if you don’t want to give us entry, and the man scowled at me saying –Are you threatening me?”

Khan said he was detained twice at US airports, at Los Angeles airport in 2008 and at New York airport in 2009, said reports.

Other prominent Indians who have been detained at US airports include actor Shah Rukh Khan, who was stopped at the Newark airport in 2009, and faced a similar problem last year at the New York airport, former President APJ Abdul Kalam, and actor John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukhesh and Kabir Khan.

Irrfan Khan says he is tired of facing detentions every time he travels to the US.

“The policemen with big guns just take you to a room and ask you to sit. They don’t allow you to speak to anybody, nor use cellphones. And after long waits, they come and simply say –‘Go, please go’. So now, I have told my hosts clearly that if I am stopped at the airport, I will just buy a ticket and return to India,” he said.

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