An association of airlines has grounded Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad and decided that the Minister, who assaulted a staff member of Air India, will not be allowed on flights with immediate effect. After the statement was released, Air India cancelled the MP’s ticket which he had purchased to fly from Delhi to Pune. As he tried his luck with the private carrier Indigo, they also joined the move to ban him. A total of five airlines, — Indigo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Jet Airways and Vistara — along with Air India have banned Gaikwad, who refuses to tender an apology.
According to Hindustan Times, the joint statement by the airlines read: “We believe that an assault on any one of our employees is an assault on all of us and on ordinary law abiding citizens of our country who work hard to earn a living … We believe that exemplary action should be taken in such incidents to protect employee morale and public safety.”
The incident as it happened
Gaikwad had booked an open ticket on the Pune-Delhi flight AI-852. Though he wanted to fly business class, the aircraft had an all-economy configuration. According to AI official, Gaikwad’s staff in Delhi were informed about this on Wednesday. They decided to go ahead and said that the politician would board the flight.
Gaikwad boarded the flight taking his seat in the economy class and reached Delhi. However, he didn’t alight the aircraft and asked for an apology from the director and AI chairman. He even said that we wouldn’t move until they tender their apology.
In order to pacify the enraged MP, the airline’s duty manager went to the plane and apologized for the inconvenience the MP had to go through. As he was trying his best to convince Gaikwad, the MP started abusing the manager, removed his slipper and hit him at least 16-18 times, as told by AI spokesperson.
Gaikwad, a member of Shiv Sena representing the Usmanabad constituency of Maharashtra, is a first-time MP and two-time MLA from Umerga in Usmanabad. This is, however, not the first time that MP Ravindra Gaikwad has find himself on the wrong side of the law.
According to MyNeta, the portal which provides criminal and financial background information on candidates, there are almost a dozen of charges mentioned against Gaikwad, including culpable homicide and rioting.
Here is the list mentioned by Gaikwad in his 2014 affidavit:
- 1 charges related to culpable homicide not amounting to murder (IPC Section-304)
- 1 charges related to criminal intimidation (IPC Section-506)
- 1 charges related to Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty (IPC Section-332)
- 2 charges related to Punishment for Rioting (IPC Section-147)
- 2 charges related to Being member of an unlawful assembly (IPC Section-143)
- 2 charges related to wrongful restraint (IPC Section-341)
- 2 charges related to Act endangering life or personal safety of others (IPC Section-336)
- 1 charges related to Rioting, armed with deadly weapon (IPC Section-148)
- 1 charges related to Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offense committed in prosecution of common object (IPC Section-149)
- 1 charges related to Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others (IPC Section-337)
- 1 charges related to Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees (IPC Section-427)
- 1 charges related to Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty (IPC Section-353)
- 1 charges related to voluntarily causing hurt (IPC Section-323)
Instances like these, repeatedly show how Indian politicians abuse their power without any apparent remorse.
The Logical Indian condemns such impunity that is enjoyed by our Netas, they should be reminded every time that they have the onus to set better examples. We urge the Maharashtra government to initiate a probe into the matter and take necessary action against him.