Angry over the treatment meted out to him by Air India, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad thrashed a 61-year-old Air India official with his slipper 25 times at the Delhi airport.
The airline filed an FIR against him after the victim Sukumar Raman of AISATS, Air India’s ground handling firm, made an internal complaint.
“I wanted a business class seat which he couldn’t arrange for me. I hit him several times with my slipper,” Gaikwad said.
“Yes, I beat him as he misbehaved with me. I hit Air India staffer 25 times” Gaikwad said, adding that the staffer “raised his voice” and said “What MP? I will talk to Modi”.
“Do you expect me to hear their abuses quietly? What should have I done? He first misbehaved with me,” said Gaikwad.
“I won’t take abuses from anyone. I am a Shiv Sena MP, not BJP,” he added.
The incident occurred at 10 a.m. when Air India flight (AI 852) from Pune landed at the airport. The MP had a business class ticket but the airline changed the Pune-Delhi flight to an all-economy one, and according to sources in the airline, the MP’s personal staff was informed about the change. Mr. Gaikwad, however, was reportedly miffed with not being provided a business class seat.
“When the flight landed at Delhi, the MP refused to deboard and that’s when some of our senior staff went to the aircraft to talk to him,” said an airline official, who didn’t wish to be named.
Mr. Gaikwad allegedly pushed 60-year-old Air India employee, R. Sukumar and hit him with his slippers. “The duty manager Sukumar was called and he started convincing him. The MP started shouting at him, snatched his glasses and pushed him to the ground. He fell down and the MP started beating him with slippers. The airport manager, a former hockey player, rushed and saved him,” said an Air India official.
“He misbehaved with me, he even broke my glasses. I never expected this could happen… God save our country if this is the culture and behaviour of our MPs,” Shivkumar said.
“An FIR should definitely be registered against Gaikwad,” Shivkumar added.
The airline is also considering the creation of a no fly list to prohibit passengers with a known history of misbehaviour from travelling with them.
“FIR lodged, examining creation of no fly list of unruly passengers,” Air India said in a statement.