Bengaluru surgeon offloaded from IndiGo

A Bengaluru-based surgeon Saurabh Rai was offloaded from an IndiGo flight following an altercation, after he complained about the presence of mosquitoes inside the plane.

The incident took place in the Lucknow airport on Monday and a day later, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu ordered an inquiry into the incident even as the airline claimed he was offloaded due to his unruly behaviour.

Rai, a vascular surgeon who practices in Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre and Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, was to fly to Bengaluru from Lucknow and soon after, he boarded the plane, he complained of mosquitoes inside the plane.

According to the airline, before the cabin crew could address his concerns, he became "aggressive" and used "threatening" language.

"Rai had initially expressed concerns regarding mosquitoes on board. Before his concerns could be addressed, he became aggressive and used threatening language, including the word 'hijack'. He also attempted to instigate the other passengers to damage the aircraft. Keeping in mind safety protocols, as well as the passenger's unruly behaviour, the pilot-in-command decided to offload Rai," the airline said.

It also added that the National Green Tribunal has prohibited disinfectant fumigation in aircraft while passengers are onboard. "This prohibition is currently under appeal," it said.

Rai claimed that the IndiGo staff treated him badly and manhandled him. "The Indigo flight from Lucknow to Bengaluru was full of mosquitoes. When I raised an objection, I was manhandled by the crew and offloaded from the aircraft, I was even threatened," Rai was quoted as saying.

After the incident, IndiGo was swarmed with similar complaints on Twitter and it apologised to some of the passengers and repeated the NGT guideline on fumigation.

 

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