Indian carrier IndiGo Airlines ground staff has reportedly manhandled and assaulted a passenger at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, New Delhi. This is the latest in a series of incidents when numerous passengers complained about the airlines staff and their high-handed behaviour.
Rajeev Katyal got into an argument with one of the ground staffs after he deplaned from a flight and was waiting for the bus. The 59-year-old passenger was abused and manhandled by the airlines' ground staff. Later, he was dragged on the tarmac.
"I was standing under the shade of the aeroplane waiting for the bus when a person from the ground staff yelled at me and asked me to move away," Katyal told Deccan Chronicle. Then, the IndiGo staff got angry and retorted by saying: "Don't teach us our job."
According to reports, Montu Kalra, another IndiGo employee, tried to intervene in the matter but when he couldn't he shot the video of the incident.
The incident happed on October 15, but it suddenly made to the headlines after the video went viral on Nov 7. But surprisingly, instead of taking action against those staffs who were involved in the incident, the airlines has sacked Kalra. Meanwhile, the key employee in the altercation has been identified by Kalra in a subsequent log entry as Jubi Thomas.
Kalra told The Economic Times that the management summoned him between October 16 and 30 and then his service was terminated. He added that Thomas and the other staffs who were involved in the incident have just been given warning letters.
In the video, the ground staff can clearly be heard talking about the man and saying: "Isko rok yahan par, isko yahin sikhaate hai (Stop this man here, let us teach him a lesson)".
Reports said that no police complaint was lodged regarding the issue and the airport police said that the matter was later sorted. "On October 15, a PCR call was received regarding quarrel at the IGI police station. There was altercation between Katiyal and the airlines ground staff, Jubi Thomas, due to misunderstanding. The matter has been settled," Deputy Commissioner of Police of the IGI police station told Deccan Chronicle.
After the video went viral, IndiGo airlines has released a statement saying that they are aware of the incident. The authorities have also apologised to the passenger.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha called the incident "deplorable and unfortunate". Sinha said in a post that the ministry has asked for a detailed report today and he will personally meet Montu Kalra, the employee whose services have been terminated. He added that he hoped that the passenger Rajiv Katiyal would file a police complaint against his assaulters.
IndiGo Airlines is often appreciated for it services and timeliness but after so many repeated incidents of abuse and harassments it seems that the company is not really paying attention to the behavior and service of its staffs.
Recently, Indian badminton player PV Sindhu had lashed out at IndiGo Airlines for behaving rudely not just with her but with an air hostess as well.
"Ground staff (skipper) Mr Ajeetesh behaved very badly and rudely with me. When the air hostess Ms Ashima tried to advise him to behave properly with the passenger (me) but to my surprise he behaved rudely with her," the Olympic medallist wrote on her Twitter handle. "If this type of people work for a reputed airline like Indigo they will spoil their reputation."