Police investigate Ravindra Gaikwad over Air India sandal fracas | Reuters

NEW DELHI Indian police said on Friday they were launching an investigation into a Hindu-nationalist lawmaker a day after he acknowledged hitting an Air India official 25 times with his sandals in a row over a business class seat.The state carrier and other airlines said they would bar Ravindra Gaikwad from flying after the fracas which has triggered a debate on the behaviour of members of the political elite, and calls for a no-fly list for unruly passengers.Gaikwad, from the Shiv Sena party, allies of India's ruling BJP, did not apologise for Thursday's confrontation and told reporters he had been badly treated. 'I hit him 25 times with my sandals ... I hit an Air India employee ..

Reuters March 24, 2017 21:49:31 IST
Police investigate Ravindra Gaikwad over Air India sandal fracas
| Reuters

Police investigate Ravindra Gaikwad over Air India sandal fracas
 Reuters

NEW DELHI Indian police said on Friday they were launching an investigation into a Hindu-nationalist lawmaker a day after he acknowledged hitting an Air India official 25 times with his sandals in a row over a business class seat.The state carrier and other airlines said they would bar Ravindra Gaikwad from flying after the fracas which has triggered a debate on the behaviour of members of the political elite, and calls for a no-fly list for unruly passengers.Gaikwad, from the Shiv Sena party, allies of India's ruling BJP, did not apologise for Thursday's confrontation and told reporters he had been badly treated. "I hit him 25 times with my sandals ... I hit an Air India employee ... Let them complain," he said in a video clip published by the Hindustan Times."I won't apologise. It's their fault ... For what? When I have not made any mistake, why should I repent?," Gaikwad told NDTV.

He said his office had booked a business class seat for him on a Pune-Delhi flight, and he was angry when he failed to get one.He refused to leave his seat in protest after the plane landed and said he hit an Air India official who came on board to try and persuade him to move.

Air India said that service did not have any business class seats and Gaikwad's refusal to leave had delayed other flights. Delhi Police said they had registered a preliminary case against Gaikwad on Friday."We are transferring the case to our Crime Branch for a thorough investigation," special commissioner Dependra Pathak told reporters.

Air India and the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) - a body that includes India's biggest carrier IndiGo, owned by InterGlobe Aviation, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Go Air - said on Friday they had barred Gaikwad from their flights."Such customers are not welcome on our carriers and we seek the support of the government and security agencies to enforce ... a 'no fly' list," FIA added in a statement. The incident triggered outrage on social media where #RavindraGaikwad was a top trending topic on Friday."This is how lawmakers make mockery of rule of law," said Twitter user Yashwant (@yashwant_7). (Reporting by Aditi Shah and Mayank Bhardwaj; Additional reporting by Malini Menon; Editing by Susan Thomas and Andrew Heavens)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.