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IndiGo lifts ban on TDP MP accused of creating ruckus at Vizag airport

Diwakar Reddy allegedly got into a verbal spat with the ground staff and threw a printer kept at the IndiGo counter after he was informed that boarding for his flight had closed.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2017 19:02 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
IndiGo,Air India,Diwakar Reddy airline ban
Airlines lifted the ban on TDP’s Diwakar Reddy. (ANI File Photo)

IndiGo revoked on Wednesday a ban on TDP parliamentarian JC Diwakar Reddy who manhandled the airline’s staff at the Vishakhapatnam airport last month after being denied boarding for arriving late for a flight.

The decision came after Reddy met officials from the airline in a meeting in New Delhi set up by Union minister for science and technology, YS Chowdary.

“The issue is amicably resolved between the two sides and IndiGo decided to lift the said ban with immediate effect,” a statement from the airline said. “Reddy has also agreed to withdraw the case he filed (against eight airlines which has banned Reddy from flying in domestic flights).”

On June 16, Reddy — the Anantapur Lok Sabha representative — misbehaved with IndiGo staff at the Vishakhapatnam airport when they refused to give him a boarding pass for his flight to Hyderabad since the gates had been closed. The lawmaker went on to shout at the airline employees, and surveillance footage showed him banging his hands on a printer and pushing an IndiGo staffer.

Shortly after the fracas, other Indian airlines stood by IndiGo, and Reddy was banned from travelling by Air India, Jet Airways, Vistara Airlines, GoAir, AirAsia, SpiceJet and Turbo Megha Airways.

The incident with Reddy, and the response from the airlines, were a near repeat of what had happened with another member of Parliament who misbehaved with airlines officials. Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was also temporarily banned by airlines after he assaulted an Air India staffer, triggering a controversy that prompted the Union government to release proposed rules for a national no-fly list for unruly passengers.

The rules, yet to be formalised, propose a ban on flying from at least three months up to an indefinite period for a range of misdemeanour.

State-run Air India followed IndiGo in revoking the ban on Reddy, ANI reported.

IndiGo said it had informed the Federation of Indian Airlines about the decision to lift the ban on the TDP MP. “IndiGo appreciates and thanks the member airlines for their continued support,” it said.

Reddy had challenged the ban in court, and the case was scheduled to come up for hearing in Hyderabad high court on July 21. Justice SV Bhatt, who admitted Reddy’s petition, issued “urgent notices” to the managements of the airlines, and the Union government over the matter.

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 16:26 IST