Air India and the member airlines of the Federation of Indian Airlines on Friday banned Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad from flying on any of their aircraft with immediate effect. The ban comes a day after Gaikwad assaulted an Air India staffer over a seat.
“Air India and FIA member airlines have decided to ban this Member of Parliament from flying on all our flights with immediate effect. We believe that exemplary action should be taken in such incidents to protect employee morale and public safety,” Ujjwal Dey, Associate Director of the Federation of Indian Airlines said in a statement issued.
While Air India is not part of the FIA, others who are part of the alliance include IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and GoAir.
Meanwhile, Sukumar, the Air India staffer who was assaulted, said he had only asked the MP to deboard as the cleaning staff had to continue their work. “I had requested him (Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad) to deboard the aircraft as the cleaning staff had to do their work. They are public servants, elected by public they need to behave in a decent manner.”
Gaikwad, however,refuses to apologise for the assault on the officer as he doesn’t believe ‘there is anything to repent about’. “Kaahe ka pashchataap (what is there to repent?),” he said. The Shiv Sena MP had bragged about hitting an AI staffer 25 times with his slipper. A video that came to light late Thursday evening, showed a stewardess pleading with the MP to stop beating the staffer. She said if he threw the staffer down from the aircraft, he will die and there will be a murder case against the MP. However, Gaikwad responded by saying he already had many cases against him, one more will not be a big deal.
Two separate complaints have been registered with Delhi Police against Gaikwad. The Shiv Sena has condemned the incident and asked Gaikwad to give an explanation. They have clarified that the Shiv Sena doesn’t support violence.