New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Describing the assault of an Air India staffer by Ravindra Gaikwad as horrendous conduct, the Indian Commercial Pilots' association on Friday wrote to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju demanding an unconditional apology from the Shiv Sena MP.
"This is regarding the recent incident where one of our Air India Employees was physically manhandled and verbally abused by an MP Ravindra Gaikwad. We find his conduct horrendous and unacceptable. We are appalled that the minister would take the law in his hand to an issue as simple as a seat. It is unfortunate that he failed to exercise maturity and restraint. It is unbecoming of a public official who is expected to lead by example to disgrace the office he holds," the letter read.
"ICPA strongly condemns and demands an unconditional apology for the same failing which we will be constrained to direct our members not to operate any flight which has Mr.Ravindra Gaikwad on board in the interest of the safety and security of our own people," the letter adds.
Meanwhile, all the airlines have banned Gaikwad from boarding their flights.
IndiGo cancelled Gaikwad's ticket for the Delhi-Pune flight, which he had booked for today.
Later, another airline Vistara too banned the 56-year-old MP from boarding its flight.
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.
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)