Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad assaulted an Air India official in New Delhi after he was forced to travel economy class though he had an open business class ticket. A defiant Gaikwad admitting to beating the unnamed airline staffer '25 times' with his slipper after accusing the latter of misbehaving with him after the flight landed in Delhi. Illustration/UdayMohite
Notwithstanding the all-round attack, an unabashed Gaikwad appeared on national TV again, declaring he had no regrets over the incident and demanding that the AI employee apologise instead. He nonchalantly made it known to the media that he had watched a movie-- 'Badrinath ki Dulhaniya'--hours after the unsavoury incident in order to "relax" and advised journalists to watch it too. He said one should be "tension-free". "Tension-free hona chahiye na...you also watch the movie...it's very good," Gaikwad told reporters.
Shiv Sena workers in party MP Ravindra Gaikwad's Osmanabad constituency burnt an effigy of the Air India staffer, who was assaulted by the leader, triggering a slew of protests. Osmanabad district and tehsil unit functionaries of the Sena gathered at Babasaheb Ambedkar statue at Tuljapur and burnt the effigy, district vice president of Sena.
The Shiv Sena appeared sympathetic to its MP Ravindra Gaikwad saying while it did not endorse his action it wanted to know why the situation was allowed to escalate to this level. earlier in the morning, Gaikwad had defiantly siad "Police can arrest me...my party, Uddhav saheb will take care of it."
The unruly behaviour of the minister drew criticism from all quarters. Aam Aadmi Sena activists held roses and Slippers as protest. Gaikwad was also trolled on social media for his unruly conduct and some people asked the Shiv Sena to take action against him.
In an unprecedented step, Air India and all private carriers refused to fly Gaikwad. But the Lok Sabha member from Osmanabad in Maharashtra remained defiant and refused to apologise for repeatedly beating and trying to push down Air India officer 60-year-old R. Sukumar from the aircraft. The Indian Commercial Pilots Association also sought an unconditional apology from Gaikwad and threatened to direct its members "not to operate any flight which has Gaikwad on board".
Delhi Police registered an FIR against Ravindra Gaikwad for assaulting an airline employee, including attempt to commit culpable homicide. "We have registered a FIR and the case has been transferred to the Crime Branch for a through probe," Special Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak said. Pathak said Gaikwad had been booked on charges of attempt to commit culpable homicide (Section 308 IPC) and assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour a person (Section 355 IPC).
Shiv Sena's Osmanabad MP Ravindra Gaikwad was booked in two cases for assaulting an Air India staffer and delaying a scheduled flight. An Air India spokesperson said two separate first information reports (FIRs) were lodged against Gaikwad, with one being for abusing and assaulting an AI staffer with slippers and "attempting to throw him out of the aircraft" -- in which he was prevented by other staff present.
The incident happened when flight AI852 from Pune reached Delhi around 10.30 a.m on March 23. Apparently nursing a grouse, Gaikwad - who represents Osmanabad in Maharashtra in the Lok Sabha - refused to get off the flight, causing inconvenience to other passengers and crew on board.
Gaikwad has refused to apologise even after public outcry. Speaking to TV channels, Gaikwad said, "The staffer should apologise first. Kayke liye mafi mangu? I will see what to do next."
Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad apologised in the Lok Sabha for the assault on an airline staffer but defended himself. Gaikwad's party colleagues in the Lok Sabha demanded lifting of the flying ban against him and the party threatened to boycott an April 10 National Democratic Alliance meeting in case the matter was not sorted out at the earliest.
Air India on Friday lifted its ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, whose flight bookings had been cancelled repeatedly after he assaulted an officer of the national carrier last month. According to Air India, the ban was lifted after the Civil Aviation Ministry wrote to the airline, a day after Gaikwad expressed 'regrets' in the Lok Sabha over the March 23 incident.