Passengers travelling on flight 9W 2552 on September 19 from Jodhpur to Delhi will never forget their travel experience because Asaram Bapu and his devotees made sure they don’t.
The controversial religious leader who has been booked for assaulting a minor was on one of his usual trips to Delhi and he was accompanied by over 10 of his followers who kept chanting “Asaram Bapu ki jai. Sai. Sai” throughout the journey, according to an Economic Times report.
Apparently, when the flight took off, many of his devotees were standing and those seated did not care to wear seat belts. “Seat belt ki kya zaroorat jab swayam bhagwaan hamare saath hain? (What is the need of a seat belt when God Himself is travelling with us?),” a passenger was quoted as saying.
That was not all. The flight which was supposed to take off at 11:55 am was reportedly delayed by two hours and no announcement was made for the same; passengers were only getting messages on their phones. However, as soon as Bapu came on a wheelchair with his devotees, boarding was announced.
“Immediately after he came, the boarding started. There was no queue. An air hostess screamed an announcement to board the flight,” Swati Daga, a public relations consultant was quoted as saying.
To add to the misery, the air conditioner on the flight wasn’t working which made it really hot and stuffy. “On being asked, a steward said the cooling wouldn’t start until all passengers were seated, something none of us had ever heard before,” said Sahiba Gursahaney, a marketing executive. Eventually, the passengers were reportedly told that there’s a technical glitch due to which the cooling will be low.
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After the flight landed, Bapu didn’t follow the queue to exit and insisted he disembark with his devotees.
According to the report, there was massive chaos outside the airport as soon as he came out. A few of his disciples, who were handed to the police, were let off in a while.