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Published On: Wed, Nov 8th, 2017

Budget airline, IndiGo ground staff beat a passenger on tarmac

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indigo-passenger-story-647_110717091043NEW DELHI : A shocking video of an IndiGo staffer manhandling a passenger surfaced on the tarmac at Delhi airport has come to light. In the video, the passenger, identified as Rajeev Katiyal, is first seen being stopped from entering a coach, then pulled back by a ground staff. Another airline employee is seen restraining the passenger. As Katiyal fought back, he fell to the ground.

“I was standing in the shade of a plane when a ground staff started shouting at me in a very rude manner. I asked him why don’t you arrange the third bus for which we are waiting. Meanwhile, when the bus came, two people said let’s teach him a lesson and one of them pulled me out of the bus,”  Rajeev Katiyal told a tv channel. As per media reports, another Indigo staffer shot the video. The incident is said to have taken place on October 15, 2017.
The government has ordered an inquiry and demanded a report from the airline on the incident, which has been compared to the United Airlines outrage where a passenger was brutally dragged down the aisle after being asked to get off a flight.
As the video caused waves of shock and anger against India’s most successful budget airline, IndiGo put out an apology and said it had fired the staff involved after an inquiry. IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said he had called up the passenger and apologised. “My personal apologies… this does not reflect our culture,” he said in a statement.
In the video, Mr Katiyal is seen arguing the apparent delay with employees, who are heard asking him not to use abusive language. He is also heard telling them to focus on doing a better job rather than moving passengers around. When Mr Katiyal tries to get on the coach, he is roughly pulled back and he falls to the ground. He tries to get up, but is pinned down by the staff. “How dare you… how dare you!” he screams in rage as two employees hold him down and manhandle him. Mr Katiyal is seen swinging his arms wildly as he is held down to the tarmac by his neck by one of the IndiGo employees.

The passenger, Rajeev Katiyal, has told a television channel that he was waiting for a bus to take him to the terminal after his plane from Chennai landed, when an IndiGo employee “shouted at me in a very rude manner”. He said he asked the staff to arrange a bus, but when it came, they grabbed him and refused to let him get on it.
Meanwhile. Civil Aviation Minister AG Raju said, “Seeking report from DGCA. Violence of any sort is deplorable and should result in criminal action,” as per ANI. On the other hand, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said, “Indigo passenger incident from October 15 is deplorable and unfortunate. MoCA has already asked for a detailed report from Indigo

.” He further tweeted, “Indigo has issued a news release stating that the culprit has been terminated. Indigo senior executives have personally apologised to the passenger.”He also urged the passenger to file a criminal complaint to “enable us to take appropriate action.”

Meanwhile, IndiGo’s president and director Aditya Ghosh apologised for the incident and said stern action was taken against an airline staff for manhandling the passenger. “I acknowledge the unpleasant experience our passenger went through while engaging with our staff at Delhi airport. My personal apologies as this does not reflect our culture. I had personally spoken to the passenger and asked for an apology,” a statement from IndiGo quoted Ghosh as saying.
Former Air India chief Ashwani Lohani, who now heads the Railway Board, waded into the row and hit out at IndiGo for the “disgusting” and “inhuman” act. He said, “The subsequent action of the airline in sacking the whistleblower is the icing on the cake of gross misconduct.”
(With Agency inputs)

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