Watch: Does this video really prove Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was hit before he struck back?

Scroll Staff

The fallout from Member of Parliament Ravindra Gaikwad’s altercation with Air India staff is still playing out. Ever since the video of Gaikwad’s assault went viral, the Shiv Sena has called for a shutdown in the MP’s Osmanabad constituency, and Air India and other Indian airlines have banned him from flying.

Now, the Shiv Sena claims that a new video has emerged that absolves Gaikwad.

“This new video makes it clear that Gaikwad was abused and then pushed around,” Arvind Sawant, Shiv Sena MP from South Mumbai told the daily Mumbai Mirror. “The female staff member intervened and Gaikwad was very polite to her. He just went back to his seat and was sitting there. This shows that the staff provoked him but the Air India staff is just playing victim now and have turned Ravindra Gaikwad into a villain.”

Politicians are working double overtime to protect one of their own. “He is a famous leader in Osmanabad,” Congress leader Husain Dalwai told ANI. “We should keep in mind how the officer talked to Gaikwad. I am not going to support his act. What he did was wrong, but this is not just one-sided.” Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Agarwal termed the decision to ban the politician from flights “dadagiri”.

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The video is similar to the first one, and neither of them shows how the altercation really began. They only capture moments of chaos at the entrance to the plane. While there isn’t enough to go buy to ascertain who threw the first punch, there is enough in Gaikwad’s statement that prevents any attempt to clear him from wrongdoing, “Yes, I hit him 25 times with a sandal...I’m a Shiv Sena MP, not BJP.”