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BJP MP from Barabanki Priyanka Singh Rawat on Friday insisted on taking an “unfolded knife” with her on a flight, leading to a long argument between her and officials at Indira Gandhi International Airport’s Terminal 3 in the capital. She eventually agreed to put the knife in the “hold area” of the Air India aircraft, where arms and ammunition are stored in the custody of Air India crew members.
O P Singh, DG, CISF, which looks after security at airports, confirmed the incident. “Our security personnel detected an unfolded knife in her hand baggage and firmly informed her about the rules. But she refused to remove it and we had to call the Air India duty manager to convince her.”
Rawat denied that such an incident had taken place and maintained that she had followed all rules. “It was not a knife, they detected a keyring in my hand baggage,” she said.
Sources told The Indian Express that Rawat was taking Air India flight-411 to Lucknow. “The flight was scheduled for 7.10 am. Around 6.15 am, at security checking, security personnel detected an unfolded knife when her hand baggage was put inside the X-ray machine. The personnel informed her that carrying the item is prohibited, citing civil aviation ministry rules,” sources said.
Sources said Rawat, a first-time MP who was recently in news for allegedly threatening to “skin” additional superintendent of police (north) K Gyananjay Singh over reported misconduct, refused to take out the unfolded knife. “She told the personnel that it was her son’s knife, and that she is an MP. She got into an argument with CISF officers, who then called senior officers to try and convince her,” sources said.
Security officials later called the duty manager of Air India, who tried to convince Rawat and informed her about their rules. “Security officials told her to call someone and hand over the knife to him. When she refused, they suggested she put the knife in the check-in baggage. But she wasn’t keen on this either,” sources said, adding that she also threatened to file an FIR against security personnel.
Eventually, the duty manager told her the flight was about to take off, and that passengers were getting late. “Rawat asked the duty manager to give her knife to the aircraft crew, saying they can carry it for her. But crew members informed them this wasn’t allowed either. The duty manager later asked her to put the knife in the ‘hold area’, and she agreed,” sources said.