After a video of a visibly upset passenger screaming at KJ Alphons at the Imphal airport has gone viral, the Union Minister of state for tourism told ANI on Wednesday that there is no “controversy” linked to the incident. Alphons said he had explained to the woman that, according to protocol, when the President of India is landing, no flight can take off.
“I don’t think there is any controversy at all. I saw this lady in distress and I went up to talk to her, she said she has to attend a funeral in Patna, I told her that there is a protocol when President is landing no flight can take off,” he said.
Imphal Airport director also told the news agency that three scheduled flights were delayed by around 2 hours due to VVIP movement. “Yesterday no scheduled flight was diverted or cancelled. But three scheduled flights were delayed by around 2 hours due to President of India’s flight movement. We heard that 1 pax who was travelling from Imphal to Patna argued with Union Minister KJ Alphons,” the director said.
President Ramnath Kovind was in Imphal on Tuesday to inaugurate the two-day North East Development Summit.
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2017
The woman, who claimed to be a doctor, was heard giving an earful to Alphons after her flight to Patna was delayed. She claimed she was running late for a funeral and demanded Alphons to give in writing that her flight would take off soon.
“The body is lying there and it will degrade. I am a doctor, I know the body will degrade. It will smell, it is still at my home, I have to go,” she says in the video, as the minister tries to pacify her.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the woman, who identified herself as Dr Nirala, said: “I was waiting and crying so I approached the minister (KJ Alphons), thinking a minister can do everything. Everyone has their own life to live, everyone has their own time. Just for the sake of one, it shouldn’t happen. This (VVIP culture) should be stopped.”