A day after IndiGo and AirIndia barred comedian Kunal Karma from their flights, SpiceJet and GoAir Wednesday followed suit. The suspensions came after Kamra heckled television news anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight from Mumbai to Lucknow on Tuesday.
Calling it “offensive behavior” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the government would advise airlines to impose restrictions on him. Kamra, who was heard mocking Goswami in the IndiGo flight in a video posted by him Tuesday on Twitter, claimed he returned to his seat immediately after the air hostess requested him, and caused no disturbance. Read in Tamil
In a statement, Kamra said he “politely asked” Goswami to have a conversation and later gave the news anchor “a monologue about what I felt about his journalism”. “The moment the stewardess asked me to move, I went back to my seat in 20 seconds. I apologised to each crew member personally and to both the pilots, by staying back till the end, for any inconvenience that I might have caused during the flight,” he said.
I did this for my hero…
I did it for Rohit pic.twitter.com/aMSdiTanHo
Kamra also said he called out Goswami for his “hero” Rohith Vemula, a Dalit student from Hyderabad University who had committed suicide citing discriminatory behaviour by authorities. Goswami chose not to respond to Kamra.
Kamra also said he was not surprised to get banned for exercising his right to speech.
In 2017, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had issued rules to tackle on-board disruptive behaviour by passengers and established the ‘no-fly list.’ The rules define three categories of unruly behavior: Level 1 refers to behaviour that is verbally unruly, and calls for debarment upto three months; Level 2 indicates physical unruliness and can lead to the passenger being debarred from flying for upto six months and Level 3 indicates life-threatening behaviour where the debarment would be for a minimum of two years.