In a shocker, IndiGo ground staff manhandled and dragged a passenger at Delhi Airport on October 15 after a tiff. An airline employee who acted as a whistleblower, tried to intervene and shot a video of this violence and was sacked by the airline.
This drama unfolded on October 15 when 6E 487 flew into Delhi from Chennai. After alighting from the Airbus A-320, a passenger Rajiv Katiyal got into an argument with some ground staffers over some issue and he allegedly abused them. What sparked this argument has not been ascertained yet.
Two to three IndiGo ground staffers stopped Katyal from boarding the bus which was taking passengers to the terminal. They then manhandled him and dragged him on the tarmac for over a minute. An IndiGo employee, Montu Kalra, who was at the site tried to intervene and shot a video of his colleagues manhandling the passenger.
Instead of acting against the employees who thrashed passenger Katiyal, IndiGo sacked Kalra whose wife is pregnant and who needs the job desperately for his growing family.
A Delhi police official said they received a call from the police control room about the incident but no one filed a complaint.
Sanjay Bhatia, IGI Airport DCP, confirmed receiving a PCR call regarding the tiff between the passenger and IndiGo employees on October 15. “Passenger Rajeev Katiyal, who had flown in from Chennai, was waiting for coach bus. There was altercation between IndiGo staffer Jubi Thomas and the passenger due to a misunderstanding. The matter was amicably sorted out and call was filed.”
“Whatever may have been the provocation, our staff were completely out of line and didn’t follow laid down procedures,” Indigo President Aditya Ghosh said. “Even while the investigation was going on we immediately suspended the involved employees.”
Meanwhile, according to media reports, Montu Kalra, an IndiGO ground staff, who was said to have shot the video, was sacked after the incident.
Former Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani, who now heads the Railway Board, waded into the row and hit out at IndiGo for the “disgusting” and “inhuman” act.
— ANI (@ANI) November 7, 2017
The airline later added to this statement, saying: “Treating our customers with respect is core to what we do. Every day we take tens of thousands of happy customers to where they need to get to. It is for this reason that customers choose IndiGo more number of times than any other airline in the country. An incident happened in Delhi airport which is entirely the opposite of this and against what we stand for at IndiGo. The video of this incident came to our attention and we took action. Even while the investigation was going on we immediately suspended the involved employees. I personally spoke to the customer and apologised to him the very same day. Whatever may have been the provocation, our staff were completely out of line and didn’t follow laid down procedures…. Under the code of conduct violation, this incident was investigated by the designated committee and stern action was taken against the staff who was he main culprit by immediately terminating his employment. He was the one found instigating and aggravating the situation. He is the exact opposite of what IndiGo’s customer service aims to be.”
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