New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Following the assault of an Air India staffer by Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, the Airlines has banned the politician from flying on all its flights with immediate effect and has also cancelled his return ticket to Pune.
Condemning the assault on its staffer, Air India issued a statement demanding that strict action be taken against the Member of Parliament by law enforcement agencies.
"We believe that an assault on any one of our employees is an assault on all of us and on ordinary law abiding citizens of our country who work hard to earn a living. Air India and FIA member airlines have decided to ban this Member of Parliament from flying on all our flights with immediate effect. We believe that exemplary action should be taken in such incidents to protect employee morale and public safety," Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) Associate Director Ujjwal Dey said in a statement.
Proposing the promulgation of a "no fly" list including the names of all unruly passengers, Air India said that such a step should be taken in the interest of safety and security of their colleagues and other customers, adding that such customers are not welcome on their carriers and they seek the support of the Government and security agencies to enforce such a "no fly" list.
Earlier in the day, the MP from Osmanabad in Maharashtra downplayed reports suggesting that Air India is considering banning him from boarding its flights.
"I have the tickets, they can't blacklist me. I will board the Delhi-Pune Air India flight this evening. How can they not allow me?" he said.
Gaikwad also remained unapologetic about the incident and dared the Delhi Police to arrest him.
"I will not apologise. It was not my fault, it was his fault. He should apologise. First ask him to apologise then we will see," Gaikwad told the media.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has sought a report to determine the facts before he decides on what happens next for Gaikwad.
Meanwhile, Air India Duty Manager Sukumar, who was assaulted by Gaikwad, today asserted that the elected representatives need to behave in a decent manner.
"I am not scared at all, either with Gaikwad or with the Shiv Sena. I have been serving public and have also faced many who get irritated on such issues. It's a common thing for me," he added.
Sukumar further said that he had requested Gaikwad to deboard the aircraft as cleaning staff had to complete their work following which he got angry.
"I had requested him (Gaikwad) to de-board the aircraft as the cleaning staff had to complete their work. On which he got furious and raised his hands," said Sukumar.
Earlier, the Centre also took cognizance of the incident and assured a thorough probe into the matter. (ANI)