Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan detained at LA airport

Indian Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan speaks during a press conference on the new Bollywood channel 'Zee.One' on July 28, 2016.
Indian Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan speaks during a press conference on the new Bollywood channel 'Zee.One' on July 28, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

Ambika Gogna

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was detained at the Los Angeles airport by US immigration officials on Friday (Aug 12).

He expressed his frustration through Twitter: "I fully understand & respect security with the way the world is, but to be detained at US immigration every damn time really really sucks."

Around 15 minutes later, the 50-year-old superstar of Hindi films tweeted in a more positive note: "The brighter side is while waiting caught some really nice Pokemons."

The US ambassador to India Rich Verma apologised in a tweet to Khan, who tweeted back that although he was inconvenienced, he respected the protocol, "not expecting to b above it".

US Department of State assistant secretary on South and Central Asian affairs, Nisha Biswal, expressed her sympathies to Khan in a tweet: "Sorry for the hassle at the airport, @iamsrk - even American diplomats get pulled for extra screening!"

It was not reported why or for how long he was detained.

This is not the first time that Khan has had problems with immigration officials at American airports.

Back in 2012, the actor was held up for 90 minutes in the White Plains airport near New York.

He was travelling in his private plane to visit Yale University, which had awarded him with its Chubb Fellowship.

He later joked while speaking to students: "Whenever I start feeling arrogant about myself, I always take a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom."

The airport incident created a stir in India, with its external affairs minister at the time, Mr S.M. Krishna, weighing in on the matter: "It has become a policy of detention and apology by the US which cannot continue."

The US customs and border protection authorities later expressed "profound" apologies for Khan's detention.

A similar incident occurred in 2009 when the actor, who was visiting the country in order to promote his film My Name Is Khan, was detained at the Newark airport in New Jersey.

According to Times of India, his name had come up on a computer alert list.