GoAir threat to wind up operations in Bihar

In what could be perceived as a major setback to the image-conscious Nitish Kumar, the low-cost airline GoAir has threatened to shut down its business operations in Bihar.

The Wadias-controlled airline is frustrated over Patna police’s “excesses” unleashed against its employees for the last couple of days. The cops not only arrested two of the airlines’ staff for not allowing a ruling party MLA board the aircraft, but also raided the residence of GoAir’s Station Manager Manmohan Tiwary in the wee hours when the latter’s wife was alone in the house.

Senior officials of the private aircraft are believed to have conveyed their strong displeasure over the police “excesses” and asked the powers that be to stop “witch-hunting”, or else they would be forced to end their operations in Bihar.

A few days back, the airlines personnel had stopped the Janata Dal (United) legislator from Maharajganj, Damodar Singh, from boarding the flight. Singh was earlier admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Patna Medical College and Hospital  for treatment of diabetes and hypertension, but was eventually referred to AIIMS in New Delhi for further treatment.

However, in the absence of requisite paper formalities, the airlines employees denied him boarding permission on its Patna-Delhi flight. The legislator’s nephew then lodged an FIR alleging that the ground staff of GoAir not only misbehaved but also “tore the boarding pass”.

Pained over the prolonged “harassment” of its staff at the hands of police, the senior officials of the airlines from Mumbai contacted “top authorities” in Patna and made it clear that if the witch-hunting by the police was not stopped, they would be forced to discontinue their flights to the state capital.

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