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Indian mother `harassed` at Frankfurt Airport, asked to prove lactation

Frankfurt: A 33-year-old Indian-origin Singaporean woman was allegedly ill-treated and humiliated by the German security officials who told her to show and squeeze her breasts at the Frankfurt Airport to prove that she was lactating.

According to a BBC report, Gayathiri Bose, who works as a manager at a transport company in Singapore, has now filed a complaint with the German authorities over her alleged harassment by the Frankfurt Airport officials in the name of security check.

In her complaint, the woman alleged that the German officials told her to squeeze her breasts at the airport security to prove that she was lactating.

Gayathiri Bose, a manager at a transport company who has a three-year-old child and a seven-month-old baby, said that she felt very ”humiliated” and “traumatised” by the experience.

She said that police at Frankfurt Airport were suspicious because she was carrying a breast pump but travelling without her baby.

Though, the German Police declined to comment on the specific allegations, but admitted that such measures were “clearly” not part of routine procedure.

Narrating the incident, Bose said that she was travelling alone and was on her way to board a flight to Paris last Thursday when she was stopped at the security screening station.

She said that after her carry-on bag, which contained her breast pump, went through the X-ray machine, she was taken aside for questioning.

They had an incredulous tone, she said. You are breastfeeding? Then where is your baby? Your baby is in Singapore?” she was asked after the 45-minute episode.

They kept her passport and she was then led to a room by a female police officer for further questioning, she said.

Inside the room, “She asked me to open up my blouse and show her my breast. She wanted me to show her by hand- expressing a little.”

Bose said she complied and squeezed her breast. “I was just in shock, I was going through the motions. I was all by myself as well, and wasn’t sure what would happen to me if they decided to make trouble for me.”

“It was only when I came out of the room that I began to slowly understand what had just happened. I just started to cry, I was terribly upset.”

She said officials then tested and cleared the pump before returning her passport, and she was allowed to board her plane to Paris.

“When they finally cleared me of the matter, I told them that this is not the way to treat someone. I said Do you know what you just did to me, you made me show my breast.

“The officer just said, Okay it is over now, please go. Christian Altenhofen, spokesman for the German Federal Police unit at Frankfurt Airport, was quoted as saying by the BBC that he could not comment on the incident “for reasons of data protection”.

“If a suspected explosive is detected at an air safety control point, the baggage and the person must be searched. The measures you have described for a breastfeeding mother are clearly not included, he added.

Source: Zee News