Harbhajan Singh, not a stranger to racial slurs, tweeted out on Wednesday, reacting strongly to an alleged racist attack on a passenger by a Jet Airways pilot. The former Indian off-spinner has even urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene.
Harbhajan Singh, who is playing for the Mumbai Indians in the ongoing Indian Premier League and claimed his 200th T20 wicket against Rising Pune Supergiant on Monday, blamed a Jet Airways pilot, Bernd Hoesslin, “of racial and physical attack towards a lady and a physically challenged man”.
Jet Airways have promised to investigate the unsavoury episode.
“So called this Bernd Hoesslin a pilot with @jetairways called my fellow indian(u bloody indian get out of my flight)while he is earning here (Sic),” tweeted Harbhajan Singh from his official handle, @harbhajan_singh.
So called this Bernd Hoesslin a pilot with @jetairways called my fellow indian(u bloody indian get out of my flight)while he is earning here— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) April 26, 2017
Harbhajan followed it up with tweets demanding action against the pilot, Bernd Hoesslin.
“Not only was he racist but physically assaulted a lady and abused a physically challenged man..absolutely disgraceful &shame on @jetairways (Sic),” tweeted Harbhajan, who went on to appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and make sure action is taken against the pilot.
Not only was he racist but physically assaulted a lady and abused a physically challenged man..absolutely disgraceful &shame on @jetairways— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) April 26, 2017
Strict action must b taken &such things should not be allowed or tolerated in r country.. #proudtobeindian let's get together and sort this— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) April 26, 2017
Harbhajan Singh was reacting to the incident involving Punjabi and Bollywood music director Jatinder Shah and Bollywood marketing professional Pooja Singh Gujral during the flight from Chandigarh to Mumbai on April 3.
Shah uses a wheelchair that was checked in but the chair never reached him on arrival. The flight was also delayed due to some internal issues of the airlines, wrote Gujral, narrating the incident via a Facebook post.
Shah was made to wait in the aeroplane and Pooja decided to remain with him. The pilot of the flight , Bernd Hoesslin , then stormed out of the cockpit and started hurling abuses at Shah and Pooja. Pooja wrote on her FB post that the pilot shouted “You Bloody Indian”, and mocked Shah for his disability while she was trying to “explain the situation”.
A complaint was lodged on April 4 at the Sahar International Airport police station. Gujral also mentioned in one of the comments on her FB post that on 5th April she filed a non cognisable complaint because police refused to file an FIR.
Jet Airways statement
Jet Airways said in a statement that corrective action will be taken as per the company policy, and after due investigation.
“Jet Airways has zero tolerance towards any action of its employees that contravenes local or international laws prevalent in the countries of its operations,” read the statement. “Additionally, we have a strict employee code of conduct, which is based on the values and ethos of the airline. This is clearly mentioned in the prescribed service conditions for employees and is adequately emphasized during internal training sessions. All airline employees/staff members are required to comply with company’s rules and regulations and with the customs and security laws of the countries that Jet Airways’ flies to.
“As regards the said incident, Jet Airways has noted guest feedback with concern and regrets the incident. The airline has as per policy initiated a full-fledged investigations, based on specific inputs from guests, concerned departments and agencies.”