Civil Aviation Minister Plays Balancing Act Over Shocking #AirlineAssaultTape

General News

Watch Ashok Gajapathi Raju's full media briefing here

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Updated On:

Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathy Raju on Wednesday held a media briefing over the shocking video that went viral a day earlier of a middle-aged man being assaulted by IndiGo staff on the tarmac at Delhi Airport.

WATCH: Shocking #AirlineAssaultVideo

WATCH: Assaulted passenger Rajeev Katiyal speaks to Arnab 

During the course of the briefing, Raju took questions on the incident as well as on the larger theme of bad behaviour but refused to take a specific stand or action.

The minister's go-to word, in this case, was 'balanced' which he used mostly in terms of: 

"The government has to take a balanced view. We don't condemn anyone straight away but we condemn the action."

Here are some of the things he said about the incident of Rajeev Katiyal and IndiGo:

  • "Can't have fisticuffs on an air-site. We have to find out who is at fault and take action. But action has to be taken."
  • "We're not going to go into who is right and who is wrong at this stage. Any violation is going to be dealt with."
  • "This incident has to be condemned; there are no two ways about it."
  • On punishment that can be given to airline: "I haven't studied that. But this behaviour has to be condemned."
  • "Realised that whistleblower has been sacked by airline from papers. But the government has to be balanced."
  • On whether it will result in action being taken on the airline: "Let the DGCA report and we'll take action."
  • "No government or country can afford such incidents."
  • "Can't have fights in an aircraft. It could lead to disaster."
  • "This has happened in the security area. Crew with access to the area has certain rules. You're talking of an incident that has happened few days back; not last night."
  • On whether there's been a coverup: "I don't know how you can jump to such conclusions."

No-fly rules:

On airline personnel threatening passengers with no-fly rules: "On Nov 14, after I came as minister, we realised we needed such a thing. There was hardly any response from public. After 2 years, an MP landed up in this... this generated a lot of interest."

"Gaikwad was also on the no-fly list for a period of time. Can we say nothing has happened?"

"Kindly look at no-fly list and if you find anything wrong or imbalanced, please tell us..."

"This is a hospitality service industry. Market forces balance certain things. For passengers' convenience after we came in there was a lot of work done on Air Seva App."

"Flipside of it is 10,000 people have downloaded the app whereas we have 1 crore passengers per year. I've realised that it is also not used the way we think it should be used. I can only request passengers to use facilities which are made available."

Watch the full briefing in the video above.

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