Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad untraceable after leaving train midway
Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who was forced to take a train from Delhi after all major airlines in the country put him on their no-fly list for assaulting a senior Air India official, on Saturday did not get down at the Mumbai Central station here as expected.
Mumbai: Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who was forced to take a train from Delhi after all major airlines in the country put him on their no-fly list for assaulting a senior Air India official, on Saturday did not get down at the Mumbai Central station here as expected. He is understood to have got down at Vapi station in Gujarat, Sena sources said. However, it was not clear whether he headed for Mumbai or Osmanabad, his constituency.
Gaikwad, who had on Thursday abused and assaulted a 60-year-old duty manager of the national carrier with slippers over not being able to fly business class despite having boarded an all-economy Pune-New Delhi flight, had not reached his home at Umarga in Osmanabad district till 9 PM on Saturday even as his supporters and media persons gathered there.
There was speculation that he would meet Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who has sought an explanation from him over the incident. Air India and major domestic airlines have barred the 57-year-old MP from flying as he refused to apologise for the incident that triggered nationwide outrage. Gaikwad boarded the August Kranti Express, which left for Mumbai from Hazrat Nizamuddin station at 4.50 PM on Saturday. Delhi Police has registered two FIRs, charging him with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Gaikwad has remained defiant and unrepentant, and instead blamed the airline employee, R Sukumar, for the incident. "Kaahe ka pashchaataap (what is there to repent)? I will not apologise ... he (Sukumar) should come and apologise. Then we will see. A 60-year-old man should know how to behave," he had said in Delhi on Friday.
Sukumar, whose effigy was burnt by Sena workers in Tuljapur yesterday, has alleged that the MP had used foul language, snatched his glasses, pinned him to the ground and hit him with a slipper when he tried to persuade him to get off the plane.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said "Party has taken the incident (of AI staffer's assault) seriously. We do not subscribe to such instances."
"Gaikwad is expected to meet Uddhav Thackeray," she said.
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