New Delhi: The Chairman of the Indian Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani, on Tuesday expressed angst at the manhandling of a passenger of the IndiGo by two airline staff at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport on October 15.
In a brief Facebook post, Lohani called out the airline for its "gross misconduct" and urged the government to intervene in the matter.
"The shameful manhandling by two airline (IndiGo) employees in beating up a passenger on the tarmac is inhuman, disgusting to say the least and not at all acceptable in a civilised society. The subsequent action of the airline in sacking the whistleblower is the icing on the cake of gross misconduct," he wrote.
In the video of the incident that recently went viral, a passenger is first seen being stopped from entering a coach, then pulled back by a ground staff. Another airline employee is seen restraining the traveller.
Another IndiGo employee, who acted as a whistleblower and recorded the incident, was subsequently sacked from his job.
The Chairman of the Indian Railways opined that the misconduct was caused due to the false sense of pride in the company that has forgotten the importance of passengers in their success.
"It is apparent that such an act is borne only out of the false sense of pride that the company has started displaying since their market share has started knocking on 50%. Indifference towards the very passengers who took them there is indeed sad," the Facebook post read.
Lohani further asserted that the manhandling by the IndiGo staff was unacceptable and needs the quick and strong action of the government.
"That the role of the national carrier in maintaining a sense of sobriety in airline operations and also fares may soon come to a halt in light of the ongoing disinvestment process is also a cause of concern in light of such incidents. What happened on the tarmac is just unacceptable and the government needs to step in with a very heavy hand and that too without delay," he concluded.
A passenger namely, Rajeev Katiyal, who arrived from Chennai, was waiting for the coach bus when he got into an altercation with the staff, namely Jubi Thomas, due to a misunderstanding.
IndiGo Airlines, which stopped Katiyal from boarding the plane for using abusive language, issued an apology for their staff's action and said stern action will be taken under the code of conduct violation.