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Scindia says will investigate IndiGo ‘denying’ boarding to special needs child, assures action

“There is zero tolerance towards such behaviour. No human being should have to go through this!” Scindia tweeted on Monday morning

Written by Pranav Mukul | New Delhi |
Updated: May 9, 2022 5:30:48 pm
Jyotiraditya Scindia seeks VAT reduction on aviation turbine fuel in MPUnion Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

A day after the incident at Ranchi airport, involving budget carrier IndiGo denying boarding to a specially-abled child passenger, came to light, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Twitter that he is “investigating the matter by myself, post which appropriate action will be taken.” IndiGo, on its part, said Monday that it made the “best possible decision under difficult circumstances.”

Scindia tweeted: “There is zero tolerance towards such behaviour. No human being should have to go through this! Investigating the matter by myself, post which appropriate action will be taken”.

The incident, which occurred on Saturday, was brought to light in a Facebook post shared on Sunday by a traveller who was present at the airport. Manisha Gupta, the author of the post, wrote that IndiGo staff at Ranchi airport did not allow the child to board the aircraft, saying that “he was a risk to other passengers.”

In a statement Monday, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta said: “Throughout the check-in and boarding process our intent of course was to carry the family, however, at the boarding area the teenager was visibly in panic.”

“While providing courteous and compassionate service to our customers is of paramount importance to us, the airport staff, in line with the safety guidelines, were forced to make a difficult decision as to whether this commotion would carry forward aboard the aircraft. Having reviewed all aspects of this incident, we as an organization are of the view that we made the best possible decision under difficult circumstances”.

In the statement, Dutta added that the company offered “sincere regrets” to the affected family for their experience, and “as a small token of our appreciation of their lifelong dedication would like to offer to purchase an electric wheelchair for their son.”

The incident is also being investigated by the aviation safety regulator DGCA. “We are looking into (the incident) and shall take appropriate action,” DGCA chief Arun Kumar told The Indian Express. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also sought a detailed report from the airline on the incident.

Gupta noted in her Facebook post that there was a delegation of doctors on the same flight who asked the ground staff to get the airport doctor to take a call on the fitness of the child — and offered “full support” to the child and his parents on the flight.

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“This child is…uncontrollable. He is in a state of panic’, the Indigo manager kept shouting and telling everyone. But all we could see was a young adolescent, sitting very quietly on a wheelchair, terror-striken by how he was being called out as a risk to the normal world. ‘The only person who is in panic is you’, a woman passenger retorted,” Gupta wrote.

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