Los Angeles, August 12: “Every damn time,” tweeted Shah Rukh Khan this morning after he was detained at an airport in the US for the third time in seven years. He was considerably calmer when America’s envoy to India tweeted an apology later, commenting that he was “not expecting to be above protocol.”
This time, the 50-year-old was detained at the Los Angeles airport. A man with the same name is on a US no-fly list of 80,000 people.
He took to Twitter to voice his exasperation.
Mr Khan, one of the most successful stars in the Hindi film industry, has been held back at the New York and New Jersey airports before.
American officials tell NDTV that during immigration checks, what pops up is a name without any other detail to help draw a distinction.
In April 2012, Mr Khan was held back at the airport in New York on a visit to address students at Yale University. After arriving two hours late at Yale, he joked during his address: “Whenever I start feeling too arrogant about myself I take a trip to America.”
Others travelling with Mr Khan, including industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s wife Nita Ambani, had been cleared immediately.
As New Delhi reacted strongly to the star being detained, the US Customs and Border Protection wrote to India’s New York Mission expressing “profound apologies”.
Earlier this year, the actor had said in an interview that he hoped this would stop, since his namesake had been removed from the no-fly list.
In 2009 too, the actor was stopped at the Newark airport because his name came up on a computer alert list.