Former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi (pictured above) has started an online petition, demanding action against Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who has been in the news for assaulting an Air India employee.
In the petition addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi has asked the government to ensure that the police carry out an investigation and take necessary action. He also said the government should ensure that Air India ban Gaikwad from using the airline for at least one year.
Gandhi had floated the petition about a week ago and as of Friday evening it has 73,720 signatures. Titled “Action against violent MP Ravindra Gaikwad”, the petition claimed that the incident was “one of the worst cases of VIP racism and hubris”. Gandhi’s petition is the latest one doing the rounds, but as many as 10 other such one have been put up in the recent past, reported The Times of India.
However, in the midst of this clamour for action, Air India on Friday lifted the ban on Gaikwad after the Civil Aviation Ministry wrote to the national carrier asking it to revoke the restriction. “In view of the apology tendered by Mr Gaikwad and undertaking of good conduct given by him, AI and other airlines were advised [by the ministry] to lift the ban,” Air India said.
The carrier’s crew had demanded an unconditional apology from the Shiv Sena MP for attacking their staffer on March 23. They had maintained that Gaikwad was a threat to passenger safety. On Thursday, Gaikwad had expressed his “regret” for assaulting an Air India staffer, but said he would not apologise.
The Sena leader had earlier said he hit the Air India employee 25 times with his sandal because he was flown in the economy class despite booking a business class seat for his flight from Pune to Delhi. However, Air India had said the plane he had chosen to fly on was economy-only, and that he had refused to take a different flight.
Gaikwad had later claimed he had asked for a complaint book, not a business class ticket, and had also later said that his reaction was a response to the staffer speaking ill of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.