Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad booked for assaulting Air India staff


MUMBAI: Shiv Sena’s Osmanabad MP Ravindra Gaikwad was on Thursday booked in two cases for assaulting an Air India staffer and delaying a scheduled flight.

An Air India spokesperson said two separate first information reports (FIRs) were lodged against Gaikwad, with one being for abusing and assaulting an AI staffer with slippers and “attempting to throw him out of the aircraft” — in which he was prevented by other staff present.

The second FIR is for delaying a scheduled New Delhi-Goa flight with 115 passengers, owing to his behavior on board. Both FIRs have been lodged with the Delhi Police.

The AI is also examining the possibility of creating a ‘no fly’ list of unruly passengers on the lines of other airlines, the spokesperson said.

Explaining their version of the incident following an enquiry, AI said Gaikwad travelled from Pune to New Delhi by flight AI852, which landed in Delhi at 9.35 a.m.

The aircraft was later scheduled to fly to Goa at 10.55 a.m.

After landing in New Delhi, all passengers disembarked, except Gaikwad.

Enquiries revealed that the MP held an open business-class ticket, but wanted to travel on this flight that is a regular all-economy service and his aide was informed accordingly by the Pune Airport Manager.

However, since Gaikwad insisted on taking that flight he was allotted a seat in the first row as there was no business-class configuration on it.

At New Delhi airport, the MP refused to step out for almost an hour, even as 115 Goa-bound passengers waited to board the flight.

“While the staff requested the MP to deboard, he became abusive and started hitting the AI employee with slippers. Gaikwad also tried to throw him out of the aircraft but was stopped by other AI staff,” the spokesperson said.

While the national carrier lodged the two FIRs against Gaikwad, the Shiv Sena has not reacted so far.



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