Ravindra Gaikwad's Air India assault sparks push for no-fly list

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad attacked Air India staffer with slippers image courtesy:Times of India

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad may be barred from flying on Air India after he had hit an AI customs officer with a slipper at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on March 23.

After a lawmaker thrashed an airline official for not getting a business-class seat, India's carriers are rallying around to create the nation's first "no-fly" list in a bid to bar unruly passengers from flights.

Gaikwad was enraged at not getting a business class seat on the flight, despite being told that the airline only had economy seats.

In a strategic meeting to discuss the party's next course of action as it finds itself embroiled in the Gaikwad-Air India controversy, Shiv Sena chief Udhhav Thackeray made it abundantly clear that any punitive action against its errant parliamentarian is out of the question.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of state for law and justice P.P. Chaudhary said that one can not be barred from travelling or can not be denied giving ticket.

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The national carrier has filed two separate complaints, with the Delhi Police, against the MP. Mr. Gaikwad insisted on seeing the top officials of the management. I will board the Delhi-Pune Air India flight this evening.

Air India cancelled the MP's return ticket for the 4.15pm flight on Friday, but he booked an IndiGo flight through an agent.

A politician from India has been banned from flying on most of the country's airlines following an incident Thursday where he attacked an Air India flight attendant with his slipper.

"Elected representatives need to respect people who are doing their job, irrespective of whether the Air India man was rude", said Shaina NC, the BJP spokesperson.

"I told my crew to be quick and asked them what was causing the delay".

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For the record, the goon MP has 7 serious criminal cases against him, on charges of rioting, wrongful restraint, assaulting a government servant, physical assault and criminal intimidation.

"I am not scared at all, either with Gaikwad or with the Shiv Sena". Mr Gaikwad also tried to throw him out from the aircraft and was stopped by other AI staff.

"I have the tickets, they can't blacklist me".

The Shiv Sena has sought an explanation from the MP on the issue. I have been dealing with the public.

It is not the first time such an incident has taken place in India.

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