An Indian-origin woman from Singapore was asked detained in ‘Frankfurt airport’ and was humiliated by the German police, when she was asked to squeeze her breast to prove that she was lactating.
Gayathiri Bose a 33 year old is a manager at a transport company, she is the mother of two children, the eldest being 3 years old and the younger one a 7 months old infant, Gayathiri has filed a complaint alleging that she was asked to squeeze her breast to prove that she was lactating.
She told to press that she was “humiliated” and "very traumatised" by the experience and she would take legal action.
She said that police officers at the airport felt suspicious because she was carrying a breast pump but travelling without her baby.
German police declined to comment on the allegations, but they said that such measures were clearly not part of the routine procedure.
Gayathri was travelling alone and she was on her way to board a flight to Paris, when she was stopped at the security screening station. Her carry-on bag contained her breast pump, which went through the X-ray machine and she was taken aside for questioning.
Gayathiri said the officers had an incredulous tone 'You are breastfeeding? Then where is your baby? Your baby is in Singapore?'," she said about the 45-minute episode.
They kept her passport aside and was taken to a room by a female police officer for further questioning.
Inside the room Gayathiri was asked to open her blouse and show her breast.
Bose said she complied and squeezed her breast. "I was just in shock; I was going through the motions. I was all by myself as well, and wasn't sure what would happen to me if they decided to make trouble for me."
Later, when she came out, Gayathiri felt terribly upset and started to cry after slowly understanding, what just happened.
She said officials then tested and cleared the pump before returning her passport, and she was allowed to board her plane to Paris.
Spokesperson for the German federal police at Frankfurt airport Christian Altenhofen said that they could not comment on the incident for reasons of data protection
He also added “if a suspected explosive is detected the baggage and the person must be searched. The measures described for a breastfeeding mother are clearly not included.
Aviation expert Ellis Taylor from aviation publication Flightglobal said, asking a mother to show she was lactating was "pretty ridiculous".