Harbhajan Singh said that the incident happened to his friends earlier this month
NEW DELHI: In a series of angry tweets posted today, cricketer Harbhajan Singh brought attention to an alleged incident of racism and assault by an expat pilot from Jet Airways. According to his tweets, the pilot named Bernd Hoesslin racially abused and assaulted two passengers on the flight, one of them being a person with physical disability. The cricketer sought strict action against the pilot as he tweeted PM Modi. “Such things should not be allowed or tolerated in our country,” he said in one of his tweets. The 36-year-old told NDTV that the incident happened to his wife’s friends earlier this month.
Harbhajan Singh also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a tweet, to intervene and ensure strict action is taken against the Jet Airways pilot who allegedly made a racist attack against a passenger.
Jet Airways have promised to investigate the unsavoury episode.
“So called this Bernd Hoesslin a pilot with @jetairways called my fellow indian(u bloody indian get out of my flight)while he is earning here (Sic),” tweeted Harbhajan Singh from his official handle, @harbhajan_singh.
Harbhajan followed it up with tweets demanding action against the pilot, Bernd Hoesslin.
“Not only was he racist but physically assaulted a lady and abused a physically challenged man..absolutely disgraceful &shame on @jetairways (Sic),” tweeted Harbhajan, who went on to appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and make sure action is taken against the pilot.
Harbhajan Singh was reacting to the incident involving Punjabi and Bollywood music director Jatinder Shah and Bollywood marketing professional Pooja Singh Gujral during the flight from Chandigarh to Mumbai on April 3.
Shah uses a wheelchair that was checked in but the chair never reached him on arrival. The flight was also delayed due to some internal issues of the airlines, wrote Gujral, narrating the incident via a Facebook post.
Extremely shocking n upsetting incident with Jet airways ! Travelled chandigarh-mumbai over the weekend. On arrival a close friend’s customised wheel chair that was checked in as per jet regulations did not reach him. The flight was already delayed because of the airlines internal issues. He was made to wait and i decided to wait along with him! Meanwhile the captain of the aircraft ‘Bernd Hoesslin’ came and started behaving nasty and screaming for checking in his personal wheelchair. I intervened and told him that it is allowed and various times this wheelchair was checked in earlier aswell! Plus #jetairways had checked it in at chandigarh so it was allowed! He got really mad at me and started screaming and pushed my hand saying ‘GET OUT’ ! I moved him aside and warned him not to touch me ! He said ‘u bloody indian’ and thats when i gave him hell. My friend who is specially challenged intervened to help but he was nasty and rude to him too. I told him to call the security but the staff did not ! Although then the crew intervened and apologised and said captain pls stop but this horrible person just did not ! I finally helped my friend and put him on the wheelchair as he was because of this situation very embarrassed and not felling well. I have complained to the guest relations head and awaiting a reply ! I DO DEMAND AN ACTION AGAINST THIS CAPTAIN ! Racism in my own country is bad but discrimination against the physically challenged is so inhumane, barbaric and atrocious. An extremely appalling, sad and grievous experience! Plz share the post
Shah was made to wait in the aeroplane and Pooja decided to remain with him. The pilot of the flight , Bernd Hoesslin , then stormed out of the cockpit and started hurling abuses at Shah and Pooja. Pooja wrote on her FB post that the pilot shouted “You Bloody Indian”, and mocked Shah for his disability while she was trying to “explain the situation”.
A complaint was lodged on April 4 at the Sahar International Airport police station. Gujral also mentioned in one of the comments on her FB post that on 5th April she filed a non cognisable complaint because police refused to file an FIR.
Jet Airways statement
Jet Airways said in a statement that corrective action will be taken as per the company policy, and after due investigation.
“Jet Airways has zero tolerance towards any action of its employees that contravenes local or international laws prevalent in the countries of its operations,” read the statement. “Additionally, we have a strict employee code of conduct, which is based on the values and ethos of the airline. This is clearly mentioned in the prescribed service conditions for employees and is adequately emphasized during internal training sessions. All airline employees/staff members are required to comply with company’s rules and regulations and with the customs and security laws of the countries that Jet Airways’ flies to.
“As regards the said incident, Jet Airways has noted guest feedback with concern and regrets the incident. The airline has as per policy initiated a full-fledged investigations, based on specific inputs from guests, concerned departments and agencies.”