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The Delhi Police on Friday registered an FIR against Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaekwad after Air India complained that the MP assaulted its 60-year-old staffer with his slippers repeatedly over a seat onboard a Pune to Delhi flight. Spokesperson for the Delhi Police Dependra Pathak told news agency ANI: “Case registered under IPC 308 & 355 and transferred to Delhi Police crime branch for thorough probe.” After a furore over his behaviour, Gaekwad was today banned by Federation of Indian Airlines from flying on aircraft of its member airlines such as Indigo, GoAir, Jet Airways, and SpiceJet as well as on Air India.
Meanwhile, Gaikwad has submitted a complaint to the Delhi Police alleging he was made to travel by Air India on Economy class even as he had a business class ticket. He further said he was pushed and yelled on. Reacting to Gaekwad being barred from flying by Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) member airlines, Minister of State Law and Justice PP Chaudhary said, “There is no law that bars anyone from travelling anywhere or denying a ticket.” He further said, “If someone has committed a crime, he can be punished but denying a ticket is seriously wrong.”
The entire incident took place on Thursday when Gaekwad was travelling to Delhi from Pune. Though he had a business class ticket with him, the MP alleged he was forced to travel by economy class in an Air India flight saying this is not the first instance with the airline. Air India officials claimed they informed him prior that the flight he took AI 852 didn’t have business class seats at all as it was an all economy class aircraft.