In a video and photos that have since gone viral on social media, a group of passengers on an Varanasi-Delhi IndiGo flight stood holding posters criticising the airline for the ban. “We condemn IndiGo’s ban on Kunal Kamra. #Youdividewemultiply,” the posters read.
Following IndiGo’s decision and a tweet by the aviation minister, three other airlines — Air India, Spicejet and Go Air also banned him from their flights.
Kamra later sued IndiGo for Rs 25 lakhs. He also shared photos prior to taking a flight on Vistara, one of two airlines that didn’t bar the stand-up comedian on the grounds that norms weren’t followed.
Later, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap also said he would not fly on IndiGo to support Kamra.
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) February 3, 2020
Earlier, when Air India too banned him, Kamra had posted a picture in which a passenger wrote a message shaming the company on a seat cover.
Ek aur dost ko salaam… pic.twitter.com/DTM1oCkoj7
— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) February 1, 2020
Many around the world also shared photos that “free rides” were reserved for Kamra.
@kunalkamra88 check this out while the govt is busy witch-hunting you.
Citizens across the world are in your support.
More power to you 😊 pic.twitter.com/8UgfFGmjZx
— Santosh Addagulla (@santoshspeed) January 30, 2020
Meanwhile Air India mistakenly cancelled ticket of Kunal Kamra’s namesake on Jaipur-Mumbai flight. However, he was reissued the ticket and allowed to board the flight once the airline staff at the Jaipur airport realised that he is not the comedian who is on the no-fly list of four airlines, including Air India, the officials said.
Government officials told The Indian Express that IndiGo’s move to ban the Mumbai-based stand-up comedian for six months was not in line with laid-down regulations which stipulate that pending a decision by an internal committee of the airline concerned, it “may ban such (an) unruly passenger from flying, but such period may not exceed a period of 30 days”.
However, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri defended the six-month flight ban imposed by four airlines on Kamra, saying an incident similar to this in a country like the US would have resulted in the passenger being “locked up’’ after the flight landed.
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