Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Wednesday summoned all stakeholders, including the airline staff and victim, in the IndiGo assault case, a day after the airline suspended its ground staff employees after a video showing them manhandling a passenger went viral. The minister said action has to be taken. In a statement to news agency ANI, Raju said: “We have to find out who is at fault and take action but action has to be taken. Can’t go into who is right and who is wrong at this stage. Any violation has to be looked into. These kinds of barbarous things shouldn’t be allowed.”
The minister had on Tuesday sought a report from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on the issue.
The video shows a man (possibly in his 50s) arguing with two IndiGo ground staffers before boarding a shuttle bus. However, an employee of IndiGo’s ground staff at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) accuses the man of using abusive words and does not allow him to board the bus and drags him away. This infuriates the man and he tries to break free, but the employees pin him to the ground.
The police said the matter was reported to them but was “amicably sorted out”. DCP (airport) Sanjay Bhatia said they received a PCR call on October 15. “The passenger, Rajeev Katyal, was waiting for a coach bus. There was an altercation between Indigo staff and the passenger, but the matter was amicably sorted out,” the DCP said.
Meanwhile, IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said he has called up the passenger and apologised. “My personal apologies as this does not reflect our culture,” he said in a statement. “Treating our customers with respect is core to what we do… An incident happened at the Delhi airport which is… against what we stand for at IndiGo. We immediately suspended employees involved.”
“Under the code of conduct violation, this incident was investigated by the designated committee and stern action was taken against the staff who was the main culprit by immediately terminating his employment. He was the one found instigating and aggravating the situation. He is the exact opposite of what IndiGo’s customer service aims to be,” Ghosh added. “Treating our customers with respect is core to what we do. Every day we take tens of thousands of happy customers to where they need to get to. It is for this reason that customers choose IndiGo more number of times than any other airline in the country,” he further said.
— ANI (@ANI) November 7, 2017
Ace Indian shuttler and world number two, PV Sindhu, had also slammed the low-cost airline after going through an unsatisfactory experience during her flight to Mumbai last Saturday. Sindhu, who was travelling from Hyderabad, recalled her ordeal on Twitter and accused an airline ground staff of misbehaviour. Naming the member of ground operations, Mr Ajeetesh, Sindhu stated that not only did he behave badly with her but also spoke rudely to an air hostess who had tried to intervene.
“Sorry to say ..i had a very bad experience😤when i was flying by 6E 608 flight to bombay on 4th nov the ground staff by name Mr ajeetesh(1/3)”. she wrote and added, “Ground staff (skipper) Mr Ajeetesh behaved very badly and rudely with me. When the air hostess Ms Ashima tried to advise him to behave properly with the passenger (me) but to my surprise he behaved rudely with her.” “If this type of people work for a reputed airline like Indigo they will spoil their reputation,” she further added. IndiGo, however, refuted Sindhu’s claims stating that she had boarded the flight carrying an oversized luggage which was not fitting into the overhead bin.