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IndiGo, Air India bar comedian Kunal Kamra

By HT Correspondent and agencies, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2020 12:48 AM IST

Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra was suspended from flying by IndiGo and Air India on Tuesday after he allegedly heckled journalist Arnab Goswami aboard a Mumbai-Lucknow plane of the private airline.

IndiGo barred Kamra for six months for what it termed as “unacceptable behaviour” during a Mumbai-Lucknow flight. Kamra had shot a 111-second video of television journalist Arnab Goswami in which he called him a “coward”, and questioned his work ethic and journalism. The video went viral on social media after Kamra uploaded it on microblogging site Twitter. In another tweet, Kamra said Goswami called him “mentally unstable”.

In a statement, the airline said, “In light of the recent incident on board 6E 5317 from Mumbai to Lucknow, we wish to inform that we are suspending Mr. Kunal Kamra from flying with IndiGo for a period of six months, as his conduct onboard was unacceptable behaviour...”

Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri took notice of the incident and “advised” other airlines in India to impose similar restrictions on Kamra, stating “offensive behaviour designed to provoke & create disturbance inside an aircraft is absolutely unacceptable & endangers safety of air travellers”.

In a press statement issued late on Tuesday, Air India Dhananjay Kumar, Air India spokesperson said: In view of the incident onboard @IndiGo6E, Air India wishes to inform that conduct of person concerned is unacceptable. With a view to discourage such behavior onboard flights, Mr Kunal Kamra is suspended from flying on any Air India flight until further notice.

HT tried contacting Goswami, but he could not be reached for a comment.

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