Aravinda Pillalamarri a 47-year-old Indian-American woman, who along with her husband had been the inspiration behind Shahrukh Khan’s film Swades was stopped by the Bel Air Police Department officer, who asked her if she was staying in the US “illegaly”.
It was Pillalamarri was walking near her home that the officer in a Bel Air Police Department stopped her, a report in The Baltimore Sun said.
‘I am walking’ replied Pillalmarri, when the officer asked her what is doing in the area. He then asked why is she not carrying her ID,’Are you staying here illegally’, asked the officer. Later, she was allowed to leave when the officers found her name in their computer system.
Reacting on the incident Pillalamarri said, “Only when the officer asked ‘are you here illegally’ did my sense of colour, and of being unequal, come forth and my interest in my civil rights take a back seat to get out of the situation safely,” she said in the report.
“Public safety does not need to come at the cost of civil rights,” she added. “I am sharing this incident here not to ask anyone here to find fault or take sides. We are all on the same side and can use this as an opportunity to learn and improve. The responsibility to uphold civil rights is one that all of us share, and we need to do our part and also expect the police to do their part.”
Pillalmarri, who studied in Bel Air High School, is an American citizen. She came to US with her parents more than 30 years ago when she was very young.