Striking Air India pilots from the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) lie on a dias in front of an image of Indian freedom icon Mahatma Gandhi during the fifth day of a hunger strike in New Delhi on June 29, 2012, the latest development in a dispute between the managment of Air India and the IPG which has lasted for over 50 days. Eleven pilots belonging to Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) began an indefinite hunger strike on June 24, to demand the reinstatement of 101 sacked colleagues. The pilots are demanding parity on conditions with their colleagues from Indian Airlines. Air India and Indian Airlines were merged in 2007 under the guidance of then Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel. The strike comes after the government in May 2012, cleared a USD 5.75-billion bailout package to help cash-strapped Air India, which has debts of USD 8.3 billion.