Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad punched and hit a 60-year-old Air India Duty Manager with his slippers nearly 20 times and tore his shirt at IGI airport here today just because he could not travel business class in an all-economy flight. The airline will be filing an FIR against the MP. It has also constituted a committee to look into the incident and will be submitting its report shortly to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, according to Air India.
“The MP turned violent, broke the duty manager’s spectacles, tore his shirt, hit him with slippers 16-17 times,” said Air India sources.
According to the airline, Gaikwad was booked on an open ticket in business class with Air India which allows a passenger to take a flight on any date.
But Gaikwad insisted on taking the 7:35 am AI 852 this morning from Pune to Delhi, which is an all-economy flight, sparking an argument between Air India staff and the politician.
The MP boarded the flight but refused to alight from the aircraft when it landed at IGI airport here. This is when the 60-year-old duty manager, Shivkumar, approached the MP to try and placate him but was brutally manhandled, said Air India sources. Gaikwad admitted hitting the Air India employee with his slippers.
“He asked who is this MP and said he would complain to Modi. So I slapped him. I hit him 25 times with my sandal. I am Shiv Sena member, not of BJP, to entertain abuses (hurled at me),” he said adding he “will not apologise”.
Gaikwad said he would also complain to the Lok Sabha Speaker about the incident.