Harbhajan Singh accuses Jet Airways pilot of racism: Pooja Singh Gujral's FB posts explain cricketer's anger

Sayantan Maitra
jet airways

Reuters

On Wednesday (April 26), ace Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh, currently playing for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2017, vented his anger on Twitter against a Jet Airways pilot, Bernd Hoesslin. Bhajji accused the pilot of indulging in racist offence during a recent flight.

In all probability, the date of the Jet Airways flight was April 3, when Harbhajan was travelling from Chandigarh to Mumbai. Hoesslin was accused of assaulting a woman, identified as Pooja Singh Gujral, as well as a wheelchair-bound man, known as Jatinder Singh.

Harbhajan, who is also seen during the MTV Roadies Rising non-fiction TV series, tweeted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well regarding the incident.

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The whole background of the incident has been explained by Pooja:

Extremely shocking n upsetting incident with Jet airways ! Travelled chandigarh-mumbai over the weekend.

On arrival a close friend's customised wheel chair that was checked in as per jet regulations did not reach him.

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The flight was already delayed because of the airlines internal issues. He was made to wait and i decided to wait along with him!

Meanwhile the captain of the aircraft 'Bernd Hoesslin' came and started behaving nasty and screaming for checking in his personal wheelchair. I intervened and told him that it is allowed and various times this wheelchair was checked in earlier aswell! Plus #jetairways had checked it in at chandigarh so it was allowed!

He got really mad at me and started screaming and pushed my hand saying 'GET OUT' ! I moved him aside and warned him not to touch me ! He said 'u bloody indian' and thats when i gave him hell.

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My friend who is specially challenged intervened to help but he was nasty and rude to him too. I told him to call the security but the staff did not ! Although then the crew intervened and apologised and said captain pls stop but this horrible person just did not !

I finally helped my friend and put him on the wheelchair as he was because of this situation very embarrassed and not felling well. I have complained to the guest relations head and awaiting a reply !

I DO DEMAND AN ACTION AGAINST THIS CAPTAIN ! Racism in my own country is bad but discrimination against the physically challenged is so inhumane, barbaric and atrocious. An extremely appalling, sad and grievous experience! Plz share the post [sic]

- Pooja Singh Gujral, on Facebook (April 5)

Pooja also said the police refused to file an FIR and therefore, she was forced to file a non-cognisable complaint.

According to NDTV, Jet Airways authorities said: "Corrective action will be taken after due investigation. The airline has, as per policy, initiated a full-fledged investigation, based on specific inputs from guests, concerned departments and agencies."

The new Mafia in r lives ! Airline Mafia !! #jetairways appalling behaviour!! No action taken by them yet, its 11 days now !

IS THIS HOW WE RESPECT HUMAN LIFE?!?!

#jetairways takes no action against racial discrimination where an expat pilot called me a bloody indian in my own country, physically assaulted me, and more horrifically, mistreated , disrespected, emotionally tortured and abused a physically challenged passenger on his flight

- Pooja Singh Gujral, on Facebook (April 15)

This is possibly not the first case of a misbehaviour by expat pilots (foreign pilots in Indian carriers).

The National Aviators' Guild (NAG), which is the union of Jet's pilots from India, ordered its members last weekend not to fly with the expat pilots from May 1.

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