Indian passenger arrested for walking on baggage belt after being denied boarding by airline

·2-min read
FILE. Aircraft stand at Terminal 3 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. A passenger was arrested for creating ruckus at the airport after he was denied boarding because he didn’t have a Covid-19 test report on him (Getty Images)
FILE. Aircraft stand at Terminal 3 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. A passenger was arrested for creating ruckus at the airport after he was denied boarding because he didn’t have a Covid-19 test report on him (Getty Images)

A passenger at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport was arrested after he allegedly hopped on to a conveyor belt and created a ruckus on being denied boarding for not carrying a Covid negative certificate.

Suraj Pandey, 36, from the state of Uttar Pradesh was flying to Mumbai on a Vistara aircraft, but officials said that the businessman from Rudrapur was not carrying the Covid-19 negative report that some cities and airlines need passengers to carry during the pandemic to be allowed to board.

Deepak Chadha, the deputy manager of Vistara Airlines, claimed that around 3pm Mr Pandey allegedly turned violent and started shouting and creating a ruckus. Local reports claimed that he got onto the baggage belt and started walking on it. He is also accused of obstructing the airline staff and other passengers.

A video of the incident showed Mr Pandey shouting at airline staff and demanding to be “adjusted” on another flight to Mumbai.

Airport security officers dragged him out of the airport and handed him to Delhi police.

Rajeev Ranjan, Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport), told the media: “We checked the CCTV footage to verify the complainant’s version. From the contents of the complaint, CCTV footage and enquiry conducted so far, accused Suraj Pandey had committed an offence under relevant sections of the Delhi Police Act. Subsequently, he was arrested and his medical examination was also conducted.”

Mr Pandey has been released on bail and will be produced before a Delhi court, reports said.

A statement from Vistara said “he behaved badly with our staff and other customers, and his acts threatened the safety of ground operations. We have provided a full refund of the booking to the customer and notified the authorities of the incident.”

As per the guidelines issued by the federal government, all passengers arriving on domestic flights into Mumbai must present a negative RT-PCR test report at the time of boarding the flight.

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