A Kashmir-based businessman travelling from New Delhi to Srinagar alleged that he and his aged mother were prevented from boarding a plane last week at the Delhi airport and has accused a private airline of discriminating on the basis of his religion.
A resident of Baramulla district, Khurshid Ahmad and his 85-year-old mother Taja Begum were scheduled to board an Indigo plane, 6E 555 on April 20 but were allegedly barred from travelling in the flight. “I had arrived well before time and even my luggage had passed through. There was some time for the flight departure. I went down and by the time I came back they had closed the gates,” he said, adding, “there was no announcement and when I asked the reason, I was told they no longer make announcements.”
However, Ahmad said the next day when he returned to Delhi airport, he witnessed that announcements were made as usual. “This is sheer discrimination and intolerance against me and my mother. I even told them my mother is aged and cannot walk properly, but still I was forced to book a new flight,” he said. Ahmad said that he is moving the consumer court against the airline.
The airline in an emailed statement said the passengers were not accepted for the flight due to their late arrival. “The gate closure time mentioned on the boarding pass was 25 minutes prior to scheduled departure. The reporting time for boarding was 1235 hrs. As per the CCTV footage, both passengers had reached the gate 7B at 1255 hrs – when the boarding was closed for this flight,” Indigo said.
“Delhi airport is a silent airport. Hence, there are no announcements made before flight departures. To educate passengers against all flight departures/timings, signages and TV screens are placed across the airport,” the statement added.
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