Days after the video of a young CISF officer Somnath Mohanty stopping Bollywood actor Salman Khan at the Mumbai airport went viral on social media, several mainstream media houses claimed that the officer was being harassed for speaking about the incident to the media. Mohanty had stopped the actor, bound for Russia, from flouting security protocols at the airport.
On Monday (August 23), the New Indian Express reported that the CISF officer ‘landed in trouble’ for talking to media organisations. While quoting an anonymous CISF personnel, the newspaper claimed, “The mobile phone of Mohanty has been seized as he interacted with the media and it is a breach of protocol. His mobile phone was seized to ensure he is not able to speak with the media further about the incident.” A resident of the Rayagada district, Somnath Mohanty had interacted with a media channel based in Odisha.
A similar claim was made by the leading national daily, ‘The Times of India.‘ It reported, “The CISF officer who recently rocked headlines for stopping superstar Selman Khan at the airport for the mandatory security checkup has landed in trouble. According to the reports, the CISF has seized his phone for talking to the media organisation of Odisha. Reportedly, the phone has been seized for the breach of protocol and to make sure that he would not talk to the media about the incident in future.” Unlike the New Indian Express, TOI did not cite any source and based it on unknown ‘reports.’
CISF debunks claims made by mainstream media
In a tweet on Tuesday (August 24), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) clarified that all such reports were factually incorrect and that the officer was instead rewarded for his professionalism. “The contents of this tweet are incorrect & without factual basis. In fact, the officer concerned has been suitably rewarded for exemplary professionalism in the discharge of his duty,” it emphasised.
Earlier, a video of Bollywood actor Salman Khan went viral on the internet where he was stopped by a CISF officer named Somnath Mohanty to first complete the security check before entering the Mumbai airport. In the video, Salman Khan was seen reaching the Mumbai Airport to leave for Russia for the shoot of his upcoming movie Tiger 3. As he reached the airport, Salman Khan tried to breezily walk into the airport without completing the mandatory security check at the entrance.
With photographers screaming at him for pictures, Salman Khan, with his entourage, shows paltry respect for the security check while others waited in line. At that time, the young CISF officer stopped the actor from entering the airport, asking him to get in line and complete his security check first. He was also seen asking the photographers to take a step back. The video that went viral on social media was posted by celebrity Bollywood photographer Viral Bhayani. The video of Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif arriving at the airport had received over 88,000 views.