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Tourist Claims Jewellery, Currency Stolen During Check At Delhi Airport

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An FIR has been registered against unidentified CISF personnel after an Australian woman alleged that her jewellery and foreign currencies worth Rs 50,000 were stolen from her handbag during an X-ray check when she was transferring from the international to the domestic section at Delhi airport.

Akeshni Singh Gour, 40, flew from Sydney to Delhi on an Air India flight and took a connecting flight of the airline to Hyderabad on August 11 when she met with this untoward incident. She travelled to India to attend her father-in-law’s funeral.

“The whole thing was an act that involved a number of officials who knew what they were doing and they took advantage of my vulnerability of knowing a mother travelling alone with two very little children (aged 3 and 7) who were both exhausted from a 15-hour flight,” reads the FIR, registered on January 4.

Speaking to PTI on phone from her Sydney home, Ms Gour said she realised the theft after she reached Hyderabad and the strong suspicion of involvement of security personnel was due to the fact that throughout the whole journey, the only time her backpack containing valuables was out of her sight was when she went through the screening.

“I wrote to every authority, starting from Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia to airport security, Delhi Police, CISF, etc, in the last six months but it was only on December 30 I received an e-mail from SHO IGI Airport to join the investigation,” Ms Gour said, adding she travels to India once in a while and this trip was first in six years.

Responding to a PTI query, the office of Apoorv Pandey, Public Relations Officer of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), said they are looking into the matter.

The woman said, “On October 11, 2022, I received an e-mail from Arun Singh, AIG/Airport Security, who asked me to pursue the matter with the local police.” She also shared a copy of the letter with PTI.

Mr Singh’s letter further read, “Local Police is the right authority for the redressal of your grievance.” Giving details of incidents, she said during the X-ray screening she took five trays, three for her backpacks, one for her suitcase, and one additional tray for her laptop. Together with her children, she walked out through the screening process on the other side.

“All trays but the one with the backpack with my personal belongings came out together. I picked all the stuff and later saw the one tray with the backpack going onto the other side where those bags with questionable items go,” she said.

“I walked to the other side and the officer asked me for my boarding pass and I said the boarding pass is in that bag itself. He then asked me to take that out which I did as it was sitting right on top,” she added.

It didn’t raise any suspicion to her when the officer looked at the X-ray screen and asked her to go. Though she found it quite surprising that he didn’t even check the bag.

“If they found some questionable items, why didn’t they check it then? They asked me rather hurry up and go without any inspection,” she said.

“I am desperate and hoping to have faith in the legal system of India to assist me not for only my benefit but to also ensure that there aren’t any more victims who travel through India and are targeted by these low lives who are supposed to be there in the first place for our safety and security,” the FIR reads. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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