There’s been another case of molestation of flight attendants, this time on a Goa-Mumbai-Delhi SpiceJet flight.
The incident, for which Delhi resident Raj Singh Hooda was booked, occurred on January 21 while the flight was airborne between Mumbai and Delhi. It comes close on the heels of Jaipur businessman Ved Prakash being thrown off a GoAir flight at Mumbai airport on January 17 for molesting a flight attendant.
According to the first information report filed at Palam police station in Delhi, Hooda was drunk when he boarded the plane. The four victims told police that he started groping them once the flight took off from Mumbai. Hooda refused to behave despite several warnings. Hooda was handed over to the police as soon as the flight landed.
The police booked him under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, which amounts to assault or criminal force against a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty. Hooda, a farmer, by profession was let off on bail later.
A SpiceJet spokesperson, confirming the incident, said: “We have filed a complaint.”
Unlike in the GoAir case, the SpiceJet flight attendants gave statements to the police at the time of the complaint. Prakash, the GoAir offender, was let off after being fined Rs 1,200 because the incident occurred close to take-off and the victims did not get a chance to speak to the police. Prakash has not yet been arrested.
Aviation experts said the industry would have to plan for such challenges as low-cost carriers like SpiceJet and GoAir have dramatically changed flier profiles in India. “Till half a decade ago when air travel was limited to the well-to-do sections of society, such incidents were rare,” said Gurcharan Bhatura, secretary-general, Federation of Aviation and Sustainable Tourism, an industry think tank.
Inputs from Vijaita Singh