Antara Telang, a 24-year-old differently abled woman, said she was brought to tears at Mumbai Airport on Saturday by the “extremely rude and insensitive” staff. Telang, who wears a prosthetic leg, said she was made to take off her leg and pass it through the luggage scanner along with other passengers’ bags.

“Whenever I have flown out of other airports – in India or anywhere in the world – I’ve never been asked to take off my leg. Other airports use an ETD (explosives trace detector) machine to scan my leg, but never at Mumbai. They take you to a private room and make you take off your leg, but it is essentially a badly built storage room. I then had to literally hop across the room on one leg and give the prosthetic leg to them because they were waiting outside. I spent about 45 minutes at the security check, but I was given no option apart from missing my flight.”

Telang said that she has faced this “humiliating experience” a number of times while flying out of Mumbai. “I’ve written to the airport authorities multiple times. They’ve not followed up,” she said. When contacted, Hemendra Kumar, Deputy Commandant (Public Relations Office) of Central Industrial Police Force, which manages security at the airport, said that they had not received any such complaint. “In my experience, prosthetic limbs are not exempted from security checks. Our staff is well-trained and there is no chance of misbehaviour. We will still investigate.”