Mumbai: 65-year-old man smokes bidi on flight, sparks mid-air panic

Updated: Jan 26, 2018, 15:39 IST | Hajra Bi and Suraj Ojha

65-year-old first time flier lights up bidi in flight loo, causing a stir on Raipur-Mumbai flight

Representational Picture
Representational Picture 

Sixty-five-year-old Rajkumar Laxminarayan Garg was flying for the first time, and hence, he thought that smoking a bidi inside the aircraft washroom would not be much of an issue. To his disbelief, he was detained and handed over to the domestic airport police station on his arrival in Mumbai. However, as the offence was a bailable one, he was released the same day.

Garg, a resident of Ijjar, Haryana, along with two of his family members took an IndiGo flight (6E-802) from Raipur to Mumbai on January 9, to attend a funeral. As scheduled, the flight took off at 11.45 am. Not being able to control his desire to smoke, suddenly Garg walked up to the washroom and lit a bidi. Immediately the smoke alert went off and the crew rushed in to check what the matter was. On spotting him smoking inside the washroom, the crew immediately alerted the captain Ritesh Malhotra. Then Garg was briefed about the rules that prohibit smoking inside the aircraft and issued a warning.

Thereafter, on reaching Mumbai, he was taken to the domestic airport police station and a case was registered against him under section 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of IPC and 25A of Airline Rule. As it was a bailable offence, he was released from the police station the same day. In a statement released on Thursday, the airlines said, "Smoking on-board is a punishable offence. Hence, after landing at Mumbai airport, the local police station was informed about the incident. The cops then filed an FIR in the matter. For IndiGo, the safety and security of the passengers and crew is of utmost importance and cannot be compromised at any time."

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