‘Salaam’: Kunal Kamra tweets thank you note to IndiGo pilot
Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra has thanked the IndiGo pilot who disapproved of the airline’s decision to bar the stand-up comic for six months.
“Captain Rohit Mateti ko mera salaam (I salute Captain Rohit Mateti),” the comedian tweeted on Friday.
Kamra was accused of heckling journalist Arnab Goswami onboard Mumbai-Lucknow flight on January 28 and was barred by IndiGo for six months. Rohit Mateti, who was the captain of flight 6E5317, wrote a letter to the airline asserting that Kamra’s conduct through the flight may be considered “unsavoury” but could not be classified to be that of a “Level 1 Unruly passenger”.
Captain Mateti also underscored that the airline management acted on the basis of social media posts and not consulted the pilot-in-command before taking action against the passenger. “This is somewhat unprecedented in my 9 years of airline flying,” he wrote.
Kamra, the pilot wrote in a letter to the airline, had complied with every instruction by the cabin crew and apologised to them for the episode more than once.
As the text of the pilot’s letter reached social media and was being widely circulated, IndiGo said it had taken “cognisance of the letter of the pilot who was operating the flight on which Kunal Kamra and Arnab Goswami were travelling. “We have received the relevant statements and the internal committee has initiated the investigation regarding this incident,” the airline said in a statement.
IndiGo had suspended Kamra from flying with the airline for six months for the January 28 episode after the comedian put out a 111-second video.
In this, Kunal Kamra is heard talking to Goswami, in a style that he claimed was mimicking the news anchor’s, constantly referring to the Republic TV founder as a “coward” and attacks his coverage of the 2015 suicide of Hyderabad Central University student Rohith Vemula.
IndiGo’s decision to suspend Kumar from flying with the airline has been sharply criticised. In any case, civil aviation rules only mandate a three-month ban for first level unruly behaviour.
Besides, the rules require that the pilot-in-command should have filed the first complaint and initiated the process to take action. Captain Rohit Mateti’s letter said he did not raise it because in his view, Kunal Kamra didn’t cross the line .