A passenger is assaulted and dragged on the tarmac by the staff of IndiGo airlines at the Delhi airport in a video that has been widely shared since it emerged yesterday, a month after the incident.
“How dare you!” the enraged passenger screamed as he was manhandled and physically prevented from boarding a coach to the terminal after his plane landed in Delhi on October 15.
The government has ordered an inquiry and demanded a report from the airline on the incident, which has been compared to the United Airlines outrage where a passenger was brutally dragged down the aisle after being asked to get off a flight.
As the video caused waves of shock and anger against India’s most successful budget airline, IndiGo put out an apology and said it had fired the staff involved after an inquiry.
IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said he had called up the passenger and apologised. “My personal apologies… this does not reflect our culture,” he said in a statement.
The passenger, Rajeev Katiyal, has told a television channel that he was waiting for a bus to take him to the terminal after his plane from Chennai landed, when an IndiGo employee “shouted at me in a very rude manner”. He said he asked the staff to arrange a bus, but when it came, they grabbed him and refused to let him get on it.
In the video, Mr Katiyal is seen arguing the apparent delay with employees, who are heard asking him not to use abusive language. He is also heard telling them to focus on doing a better job rather than moving passengers around. When Mr Katiyal tries to get on the coach, he is roughly pulled back and he falls to the ground.
He tries to get up, but is pinned down by the staff. “How dare you… how dare you!” he screams in rage as two employees hold him down and manhandle him.
Mr Katiyal is seen swinging his arms wildly as he is held down to the tarmac by his neck by one of the IndiGo employees.
— ANI (@ANI) November 7, 2017
The employee who assaulted Mr Katiyal was fired yesterday.
According to media reports, another employee Montu Kalra, who was believed to have shot the incident on his mobile phone, has also been sacked.
Former Air India chief Ashwani Lohani, who now heads the Railway Board, waded into the row and hit out at IndiGo for the “disgusting” and “inhuman” act. He said, “The subsequent action of the airline in sacking the whistleblower is the icing on the cake of gross misconduct.”