Air India, 4 other airlines ban Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad
Gaikwad had wanted to be seated in the business section of an all-economy flight. He has also been banned by Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and GoAir. Photograph: (ANI)
Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad -- who beat up an Air India staff member yesterday -- will no longer fly with the airline.
The staff member, Sukumar Raman, was 60 years old. Gaikwad hit him -- see video below -- with his slipper.
Nor will Gaikwad fly with Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet, or GoAir, after the Federation of Indian Airlines also banned him from flying with their airlines.
Air India cancelled Gaikwad's Delhi to Pune ticket Friday.
IndiGo refused to issue him a ticket after he tried his luck with them.
Gaikwad will be prohibited from flying on Air India with "immediate effect", the company said, though the timescale of the punishment remains unclear.
Gaikwad becomes the first person to be put on the airlines' no-fly list.
Delhi Police said today they have registered an FIR against the Shiv Sena MP for assaulting an Air India staffer.
WATCH: Unedited footage of Shiv Sena MP R Gaikwad roughing up Air India staff (NOTE: STRONG LANGUAGE) pic.twitter.com/idFr8MpUTo— ANI (@ANI_news) March 23, 2017
This announcement from India's third-largest airline comes a day after they created their own no-fly list to prevent unruly passengers from using their facility.
Gaikwad becomes the first person to be blacklisted by an Indian airline.
The Federation of Indian Airlines has also decided to bar the politician from flying on Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir.
But this hasn't deterred the lawmaker. "I will not apologise. Why should I? First ask him to apologise, then we will see," he told ANI.
"I have the tickets, they can't blacklist me. I will board the Delhi-Pune Air India flight this evening. How can they not allow me?" Gaikwad said.
On Thursday, Gaikwad beat an Air India staffer "25 times" with a slipper for being upset about not being seated in the business class of a flight from Pune to New Delhi.
The lawmaker from Osmanabad district in India's western state of Maharashtra also delayed the flight services as he refused to get off the plane.
Unnamed sources said though Gaikwad had an open (undated) business class ticket, his staff was told that the Pune-New Delhi flight AI 852 was an all-economy service.
Later, the unfazed lawmaker unflinchingly chronicled what happened on the flight: "Yes, I held the AI (Air India) official's collar and hit him 25 times with my sandals, tore his clothes and broke his specs. I am not a BJP MP. I am a Shiv Sena MP and will not tolerate any insult."
Gaikwad has also refused to apologise. Instead, he has asked the Air India employee to apologise to him.
Gaikwad's brazenness has left the political establishment, especially the Shiv Sena, deeply embarrassed.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has pulled up the lawmaker to justify his action on the airplane.
"The party has sought an explanation from Gaikwad over the incident. The Sena does not condone violence of any kind," Thackeray's media adviser Harshal Pradhan told PTI.
But Gaikwad has approached the civil aviation ministry seeking an inquiry into the incident.
An hour after the episode, the assaulted staffer -- 60-year-old Sukumar Raman -- said: "God save our country if this is the culture and behaviour of our MPs."