New Delhi Angry fans burned a U.S. flag in protest Sunday, a Cabinet minister suggested searching visiting Americans and an actress tweeted her outrage after Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan said he was detained for questioning at a U.S. airport.
Though U.S. immigration officials denied he was formally held, fellow Indian film stars and political leaders condemned what they called “humiliating” treatment given to Khan, a Muslim who is well-loved in a largely Hindu country. One Cabinet minister suggested a “tit-for-tat” policy toward Americans traveling to India.
Angry fans in the northern city of Allahabad shouted anti-U.S. slogans and burned an American flag.
Khan said he was detained Friday by U.S. immigration officials at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey because his name came up on a computer alert list.
The actor is in the U.S. to promote a new film, “My Name is Khan,” which is about racial profiling of Muslims after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The story was front-page news in India, where the ability to avoid being frisked at airports is seen as a status symbol. Politicians, sports celebrities and film stars often claim VIP status to avoid security checks.
“My name is Khan? Too bad. SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) feels the heat of American paranoia,” said The Times of India, quoting Khan as saying he felt “angry and humiliated.”