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Forced to travel economy class, Sena MP assaults Air India staffer with slipper

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad later told reporter he had no regrets about the incident, claiming that he had hit the staff “25 times”.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Mar 23, 2017, 04.11 PM IST
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Unhappy with his seat, Shiv Sena MP slaps Air India staff
A Shiv Sena MP Thursday hit an Air India employee with a slipper aboard a Pune-Delhi flight over seating issues.

The MP Ravindra Gaikwad later admitted to the assault.

"Maine pachhees maara usko (I hit him 25 times)," he said to media channels later.

Gaikwad said he had complained about seating issues--his business class seat was changed to an economy seat aboard the flight AI 852-- and sought to speak to the airline crew member's superior officer. That led to an altercation and then the assault.

Air India said a committee has been constituted to "look into the action" that can be taken against Gaikwad. Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju condemned Gaikwad's act, even as Twitter broke out in rage against it.

"What is there to probe? MP has admitted to assault. AI management should file an FIR straight away and let police deal with it," Jitender Bhargava, former executive director at the national carrier posted on the micro-blogging site.

Industry watchers have expressed doubts over the action the state-run carrier can take given the presence of unions affiliated to several political parties, including, Shiv Sena in its staff.

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