Sena MP hits AI staffer with sandal

Sena MP hits AI staffer with sandal

Admits to hitting 60-yr-old employee 25 times

Sena MP hits AI staffer with sandal

A Shiv Sena MP on Thursday hit an Air India manager with sandals, tore his shirt and broke his glasses, demanding to travel business class on an all-economy flight.

MP Ravindra Gaikwad admitted he hit 60-year-old duty manager Shivkumar, but claimed the airline employee had used foul language and misbehaved with him.

According to a senior Air India official, “The MP turned violent, broke the duty manager’s spectacles, tore his shirt, hit him with slippers 16-17 times, and tried to throw him out of an aircraft at the Delhi airport.” The official added that the airline was mulling the creation of a no-fly list of unruly passengers similar to other carriers.

The airline filed two police complaints — one for assaulting their employee and another for delaying the flight for 40 minutes.

“Yes, I had hit the staff. Do you expect me to hear their abuses quietly? He asked ‘who is this MP’ and said he would complain to (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi. So, I slapped him. I hit him 25 times with my sandal. I am a Shiv Sena member, not of the BJP, to entertain abuses hurled at me. I will not apologise,” Gaikwad said.

A shocked Shivkumar said, “Yes, he misbehaved with me, broke my glasses. I never expected this.” “God save our country if this is the culture and behaviour of our MPs,” he was quoted as saying.

It all started when the Pune-Delhi AI-852 flight landed here at 9.35 am. The same flight was to proceed to Goa at 10.55 am. The MP, who had an open business class ticket, did not alight even after all the passengers disembarked. According to Air India, AI-852 is an all-economy flight and there is no business-class configuration.

The MP wanted to travel on this flight only and his personal assistant was in touch with the airline’s airport manager in Pune since Wednesday regarding Gaikwad’s travel to Delhi.

The MP’s assistant was informed that it was an all-economy flight. “Since the MP wanted to travel on this flight, he was allotted the seat in the first row itself since there is no business class on this flight,” the airline said in a statement.

The MP refused to come out of the aircraft for almost an hour after it landed.  The duty manager then requested Gaikwad to get off the plane since 115 passengers were waiting to board the flight to Goa.

Gaikwad accepted that he has done it. The Shiv Sena does not advocate such behaviour. He is a popular MP. We want to find out what made him lose his temper, what instigated him should be probed.
 Manisha Kayande, Sena leader

Party chief Uddhav Thackeray summons Gaikwad to Mumbai, seeks explanation

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