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Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was again “detained” for unknown reasons on arrival at L.A. International Airport Friday, the third such incident in recent years.
It was not immediately clear why the actor was detained and for how long but the incident hit the headlines in India and sparked a social media firestorm after Khan expressed his disappointment in a tweet stating, “I fully understand & respect security with the way the world is, but to be detained at US immigration every damn time really really sucks.”
While there has been no official statement yet from immigration authorities, in a response to Khan’s tweet, U.S. Department of State assistant secretary for south and central Asia, Nisha Biswal tweeted, “Sorry for the hassle at the airport, @iamsrk — even American diplomats get pulled for extra screening!”
Apologizing for the incident, the U.S. ambassador to India Rich Verma posted a tweet stating, “Sorry for the trouble at LAX @iamsrk. We are working to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Your work inspires millions, including in the US.”
Replying to Verma’s tweet, Khan posted, “No trouble sir, respect the protocol & not expecting 2 b above it. It’s just a tad inconvenient. Thx for ur concern.”
The latest incident has caused uproar given Khan has faced similar incidents in the past when traveling to the U.S. In 2009, he was detained at Newark Airport and questioned for over two hours before being allowed entry.
Similarly, in 2012, Khan — who had been invited by Yale University to deliver a lecture — was held and questioned for over an hour by immigration officials before being allowed entry. Following the incident, which was heavily criticized, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Department sent a letter of apology to the Indian Consulate in Washington expressing regret over Khan’s detention. Though he was “upset” at the incident, Khan still took a humorous view, stating at the Yale press conference, “Whenever I start feeling too arrogant about myself, I always take a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom.”
Following the L.A. incident, Khan again showed his humorous side in another tweet by referring to the ongoing Pokemon Go craze, “The brighter side is while waiting caught some really nice Pokemons.”
As one of India’s biggest stars, Khan’s two-decade-plus career has delivered some of Bollywood’s biggest hits, such as his 1994 breakthrough Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Khan’s next film Raees, is set for release next year.
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