IndiGo row: DGCA forms 3-member 'fact-finding' team

On May 7, a child was not allowed to board a flight at Ranchi Airport by an IndiGo manager, according to a post that was widely shared on social media by Manisha Gupta, the founder and director of a consultancy called Start-Up India.
IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta has expressed regret over the incident.(Representative Photo)
IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta has expressed regret over the incident.(Representative Photo)
Published on May 09, 2022 09:25 PM IST
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Written by Kanishka Singharia | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar

Amid the backlash over IndiGo Airlines refusing to allow a child with special needs to board a plane in Ranchi with his family, India's aviation regulator body- Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has decided to conduct a fact-finding probe into the incident.

"In the case involving denied boarding to a child at Ranchi Airport, we have received a report from the concerned Airline . However in view of the facts and circumstances described therein, we have decided to conduct a fact-finding enquiry”, Arun Kumar, DGCA said.

Also Read: Furore over IndiGo denying boarding to disabled child, parents at Ranchi airport

The team will go to Ranchi and Hyderabad to conduct an investigation. Hyderabad is where the specially-abled child's family is staying. The team will collect appropriate evidence within 1 week from today”, Kumar said.

The aviation regulator added that based on the outcomes of the said inquiry, further action shall entail.

In a tweet earlier, aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said he would himself probe the case. “There is zero tolerance towards such behaviour. No human being should have to go through this! Investigating the matter by myself, post which appropriate action will be taken (sic),” Scindia tweeted.

On May 7, a child was not allowed to board a flight at Ranchi Airport by an IndiGo manager, according to a post that was widely shared on social media by Manisha Gupta, the founder and director of a consultancy called Start-Up India.

“Yesterday, at the Ranchi airport, an adolescent with special needs, was in great distress. He had had a very uncomfortable car ride to the airport. By the time he had gone through security check and reached the gate (almost an hour ahead of boarding), he seemed to be in the throes of hunger, thirst, anxiety and confusion," the post read, calling it an incident of “shame and distress”.

“His parents obviously knew how to handle his meltdown - with patience, some cajoling, some stern-ness, many hugs etc. And the other passengers were stopping by to ask if they needed any help or support. This caught the attention of the #indigoairlines staff, who walked upto the trio, and warned them that he would not let them board, if the child did not quieten down and become 'normal'. By the time the boarding began, the child had been fed. He had had many sips of juice and water. His parents had successfully given him his medicine and he seemed ready...except for some big displays of general teenage assertiveness. Then we witnessed the full display of brute authority and power,” it said, further describing the incident.

IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta has expressed regret over the incident and also offered to buy an electric wheelchair for the teenager.

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Sunday, July 03, 2022