Was abused, manhandled by Air India official: Ravindra Gaikwad

  • Was abused, manhandled by Air India official: Ravindra Gaikwad

Was abused, manhandled by Air India official: Ravindra Gaikwad

Telugu Desham Party Member of Parliament and Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju was gheraoed by Shiv Sena MPs in the Lok Sabha as he did not heed to their demand of revoking the ban on MP Ravindra Gaikwad by Indian airlines.

"As the restriction on flying is affecting the effective discharge of my duties and responsibilities, I would request you to lift this restriction and let the investigation eventually determine the circumstances which led to the incident", Gaikwad said.

Earlier in the day, the Air India Cabin Crew Association had said Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad must not be allowed to fly until he tenders an "unconditional apology" for beating up a 60-year-old staffer, and asserted that he poses a risk to flight safety.

Air India today revoked its flight ban on the MP with immediate effect, two weeks after Gaikwad assaulted an airline staffer onboard a plane.

According to sources, a meeting took place between Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and Air India Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) at Airlines Housex where the process to lift the travel ban on Gaikwad, imposed by all airlines post his altercation with an Air India employee was discussed.

Geete chastised Air India and the other domestic airlines for blacklisting Gaikwad without a probe and took on the government, of which he is a part.

Gaikwad lost his temper when he was asked to sit in the economy class, after which he assaulted an Air India staff with his shoe 25 times, and also attempted to throw him out of the flight.

While this was so, party leader Anant Geete asked how a charge of attempt to murder can be slapped against the MP.

Following a ban by Air India, post the incident, all Indian airlines banned him.

The MP prompted outrage in India's lower house when he demanded the ban be lifted. Aircraft are machines where people fly and safety is important. "Safety is important. Safety can not be compromised", Raju had earlier said, while responding to the Shiv Sena's demand.

The Federation of All India Aviation - the union representing airline employees and airport operators - has also said it will not allow any disruption in Air India's operations at the Mumbai and Pune airports. "You have to withdraw the order", said Geete, referring to the blanket ban on Gaikwad for his air travel.

Making his case, Gaikwad, who later read out his statement from a written text, sought justice saying he has been held guilty without a probe and was made a victim of media trial.

While admitting to pushing the Air India employee, the Sena MP said he was ready to apologise to the Parliament if his act caused disrespect to the temple of democracy, but not to the Air India official.

- There is an attempt to spread false information against me.