HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Ravindra Gaikwad was annoyed as he didn’t get to travel in the business class
  2. The Sena MP removed his footwear and kept on hitting the Air India duty manager, said an airline source
  3. Gaikwad said he won’t move till AI chairman and managing director come and tender their apology

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra GaikwadShiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad assaulted an Air India official after his flight landed at the Delhi airport on Thursday.

“The MP removed his footwear and kept on hitting the AI duty manager. He must have assaulted the AI official about 15-17 times,” said an airline source. An Air India spokesperson confirmed the incident. “We have constituted a committee to look into the action we can take against the MP,” the spokesperson added. Speaking to news channels, a defiant Gaikwad said that he hit the AI official 25 times with his chappals.

According to sources, Gaikwad was peeved that he didn’t get to travel in the business class. “He had booked an open ticket on the Pune-Delhi flight AI-852. But the aircraft which was pulled in to operate the flight had an all-economy configuration. Gaikwad’s staff in Delhi were informed about this on Wednesday. They decided to go ahead and said that the politician would board the flight,” said an AI official.

Accordingly, Gaikwad boarded the flight, took an economy class seat and reached Delhi. However he refused to disembark. He demanded that the “mantri” and AI chairman and managing director apologise to him. “He said he won’t move till they come and tender their apology,” said a source.

The airline’s duty manager went to the aircraft to pacify the MP. “He apologised for the inconvenience he had to go through in the economy-class. He was requesting him to deboard when the angry MP started abusing him and slapping him with his footwear. He hit him again and again several times,” said the source.