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Page last updated at 00:31 GMT, Sunday, 16 August 2009 01:31 UK

Row over US Bollywood 'detention'

Shah Rukh Khan, 11 Aug 2009
Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has appeared in more than 70 films

India has asked the US to explain why a leading Bollywood film star was allegedly detained for two hours at Newark airport, which serves New York.

Shah Rukh Khan, who was released after India's embassy in the US intervened, said he felt angry and humiliated.

The actor, who is promoting a film on racial profiling, said he was stopped because he had a Muslim name.

But US customs officials denied that Mr Khan had been detained, saying he was questioned for 66 minutes.

Elmer Camacho, a spokesman for the US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, said the questioning was part of the agency's routine process to screen foreign travellers, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Check list

The US ambassador to India, Timothy Roehmer, said the embassy was looking into Mr Khan's case.

Speaking in Delhi, Mr Roehmer said: "Shah Rukh Khan, the actor and global icon, is a very welcome guest in the United States. Many Americans love his films."

He said the embassy was trying to "ascertain the facts of the case - to understand what took place".

Mr Khan, 44, earlier told the Press Trust of India news agency he had been detained by immigration officials at Newark airport because his name came up on a computer check list.

He told the agency that he had been released after he was allowed to message a politician in India, who contacted the Indian embassy in Washington on his behalf.

Mr Khan was on his way from New York to Chicago to attend an Indian independence day celebration when he was stopped at Newark airport in the state of New Jersey.

Mr Khan later tried to play down the incident.

When asked about it while attending the Chicago celebration, he said: "I think it's a procedure that needs to be followed, but an unfortunate procedure."

The news was widely reported by Indian media outlets.

Mr Khan has appeared in more than 70 films and is considered one of India's most recognisable and popular celebrities.

Last month, America's Continental Airlines apologised to APJ Abdul Kalam amid outrage in India when it emerged that the former Indian president had been frisked and made to remove his shoes at Delhi airport in April.

The airline said in a statement that it had not intended to offend Mr Kalam or the sentiments of the people of India.



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