Yale regrets treatment to Shahrukh Khan

New York: America`s prestigious Yale University, which had invited Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, today said that his detention was "unfortunate" but things were sorted out in the end.

"As SRK himself would tell you, what is most important in his movies is how they end rather than how they begin. And on Friday, things began in an unfortunate manner, but ended in a way that left everyone happy," Yale`s Assistant Secretary of international affairs George Joseph told PTI in an emailed statement.

Khan was detained for over two hours at the White Plains airport in New York by immigration authorities on Friday. He was travelling in a private plane and was accompanied by Nita Ambani, wife of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani.

The episode had caused some tense moments for the university and Khan`s team as Yale officials contacted the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Department in Washington before Khan was cleared by the immigration.

Khan had come to the US to visit Connecticut-based Yale University, which had named him the Chubb fellow.

Khan, who was in the US just for the day, interacted with the media before his 90-minute lecture and question and answer session with over 1600 Yale students, faculty and members of the Indian-American community.

Joseph said Yale has always been welcoming of visitors from every part of the world and it prides itself on its institution`s hospitality and openness.

"We are grateful to Khan for the memories that he has created that will last a lifetime for so many people who were able to experience his visit yesterday," he said. .

This was the second time Khan had been detained for questioning at the airport in the US in the past three years.

Meanwhile, the New York office of the US Customs & Border Protection, when asked to comment on the details of a letter sent to the Consulate here expressing regret over the episode, said it is prohibited from discussing specific cases due to privacy laws.

"The United States has been and continues to be a welcoming nation. Our dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband," the CBP said in a statement.

It said it not only protects US citizens and lawful permanent residents in the country but also wants to ensure the safety of its international travelers who come to visit, study and conduct legitimate business in the country.

CBP officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws, but they enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies and have stopped thousands of violators of US law.

"CBP strives to treat all travelers with respect and in a professional manner, while maintaining the focus of our mission to protect all citizens and visitors in the United States," it said.

Repeated calls and messages left with the Indian Consulate in New York seeking comment on details of the letter from the US customs and border protection, in which authorities had expressed "profound" apologies for detaining the actor, went unanswered.