Kashmiri journalist Yana Mir claims facing harassment at Delhi IGI over bag scanning, customs officials allege lack of cooperation

Jammu and Kashmir-based journalist Yana Mir
Jammu and Kashmir-based journalist Yana Mir recently won hearts with her ‘Malala Yousafzai’ comment in the UK. Photo Courtesy:  Yana Mir X page

Jammu and Kashmir-based journalist Yana Mir, who recently returned to India from the UK where she won hearts with her ‘free and safe in India’ remark, took to social media to share the alleged ‘harassment’ and rude behaviour she faced from immigration officers who asked her to get the bags scanned at the Delhi IGI airport.

The Delhi Customs, however, countered her claims and said she felt needlessly offended at the airport after she was asked to scan her bags.

The department said bag scanning of international passengers is done as a routine process.

“Bag scanning of international passengers is done routinely. While other paxs put their luggage inside the scanner without any fuss Ms. Yana Mir felt needlessly offended. Staff remained courteous throughout.Privileges are not above law. Footage tells the story,” the department posted on X along with a footage of the bag scanning process to support the claim.

“Ms. Yana Mir didn’t cooperate at all when requested to get her bags scanned. Her luggage was ultimately picked up by airline staff and Customs officer for scanning as seen in the footage,” the department said in another post.

Claiming that the officials were arrogant in their behaviour, Yana Mir wrote in the comment section: “You can see CLEARLY IN THE FOOTAGE as soon as i was told to scan i went to the machine. High handed, arrogant, entitled, govt employees thought its below their dignity to help me put the heavy suitcase on the machine, or help me me put it back in the trolley.”  

In a separate post, Yana said she did not seek special treatment at the airport but emphasized the need for politeness and privacy during the bag-checking process.

“I dont want special treatment,” she said.

“But harassing citizens like this is dictatorial. They need to be polite and ask if anything to declare, if very suspicious even after scanning then they shud be courteous, to open in the bag in closed area, not openly like this,” she wrote on X.

Yana Mir’s strong statement in London

Recently, Yana Mir won hearts after she asserted that she will never have to escape from her country as she is safe in her home in Kashmir which is part of India and this is what makes her different from Malala Yousafzai, who had to leave her country Pakistan after being shot by a terrorist for going to school.

“I am not a Malala Yousafzai. I am not a Malala Yousafzai, because I will never have to run away from my home country,” Yana Mir declared in the British Parliament building.

“I am free, and I am safe in my country India, in my home in Kashmir which is part of India,” added Yana Mir.

Yana Mir, who  calls herself Kashmir’s first female vlogger, is a journalist, too, as she reports news and posts views and updates on her YouTube channel.

Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in 2012 after she defied a Taliban ban on girls’ education.  She moved to the United Kingdom where she received treatment and recovered from her near fatal injuries. Afterwards, she enrolled at the University of Oxford. In 2014, she made history as the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17.

In her address, Yana Mir said she objects Mala Yousafzai for persistently defaming India by calling it ‘oppressed’.

“But I object to you, Malala Yousafzai, defaming my country, my progressing homeland, by calling it ‘oppressed’. I object to all such ‘toolkit members’ on social media and foreign media who never cared to visit Indian Kashmir, but, fabricate stories of ‘oppression’ from there,” said Yana Mir.

“I urge you all to stop polarising Indians on grounds of religion, we won’t allow you to break up us”, added Yana Mir, “I hope our perpetrators living in the UK in Pakistan will stop maligning my country”.

Yana Mir, who is associated with the Jammu and Kashmir Youth Society, delivered a speech at a “Sankalp Divas” event organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Study Centre UK (JKSC) in the British Parliament building.

Videos of Yana Mir’s speech have circulated widely, with many praising her for her fervent delivery in the UK. She expressed gratitude to Sajid Yousuf Shah, the BJP media in-charge of Kashmir, and shared the inspiration behind her comparison to Malala Yousafzai.

“Thank you, Sajid, for pushing me to go here, when I was depressed after we lost Dad. I wouldn’t have reached here if it wasn’t for you. Also, this Malala theory was given to me by my sister. So, a person is nothing, without family support,” Yana Mir wrote on X.

Yana Mir’s father expired on January 26.

JKSC is a think-tank involved in the study of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Yana Mir was also honoured with the Diversity Ambassador Award for advocating diversity in the J&K region, during the keynote address.

She highlighted development in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370, underscoring enhancements in security, governmental programs, and allocation of funds.