Neighbours ostracising, calling police on crew who went abroad, says Air India

Neighbours ostracising, calling police on crew who went abroad: Air India

Air India was recently applauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers for rescuing stranded Indians from across countries like Iran, which are battling a major crisis in the face of the pandemic outbreak.

State-run carrier Air India alleged Sunday that its officials who went abroad as a part of their duty were being ostracised by "vigilante" resident welfare associations (RWAs). Air India flights have evacuated hundreds of Indians from abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed seven lives in India.It has brought back its citizens from China, Japan, Iran and Italy.

"It is alarming to note that in many localities, vigilante Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and neighbours have started ostracising the crew, obstructing them from performing their duty or even calling in the police, simply because the crew traveled abroad in the course of their duty," the airline said in a press release.

These "vigilantes" had "conveniently" forgotten that many a spouse, parent, sibling, child and near and dear ones were brought back home safely from coronavirus-hit countries by the Air India crew, the statement said.

Air India was recently applauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers for rescuing stranded Indian students and pilgrims from countries like Iran and Italy, which have the worst-hit due to COVID-19.

On Sunday, Air India brought back 262 Indians stranded in Rome in a special flight.

"We would like to appeal to all concerned, particularly the law enforcement agencies, to ensure that our crew are treated with the courtesy, respect and freedom that every citizen of this country deserves, especially in light of the fact of their having undertaken flight duties to affected countries to bring back Indian citizens," the airline further said.