Indian politician banned after hitting flight attendant with slipper

ajc.com
Caption
)

Credit: Hindustan Times

Credit: Hindustan Times

An Indian politician was banned from flying on most of the country's major airlines after admitting he used a slipper to hit an Air India steward, The Guardian reported.

Explore>> Read more trending news

Ravindra Gaikwad, a member of India’s lower house for the Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party, said the attendant had insulted him on the Pune to New Delhi flight.

“What did he say, that I hit him with my hand? I hit him 25 times with a slipper,” Gaikwad told ANI news agency in video footage it posted on Twitter.

He added that he "dare[d] the Delhi police to arrest me" over the attack and asked the Indian state airline for an apology.

“I am booked on a 4 p.m. flight to Pune,” he said Friday morning. “I will take that flight. How can they not let me travel when I have a booking and I am their passenger.”

But the airline said later in the day that it had canceled Gaikwad's return flight, the Guardian reported. He had also been banned from flying on any member airlines of the Federation of Indian Airlines, the Press Trust of India reported.

The dispute appears to have been started after Gaikwad bought a business class ticket but was given an economy seat for the Thursday morning.

After first complaining to an air steward, Gaikwad got into a heated argument with the senior flight attendant, Shivkumar.

“[The steward] said ‘I will complain to [Indian prime minister Narendra] Modi’, so I hit him,” Gaikwad said. “Should I have to listen to this abuse?”

Shivkumar, 60, later said the MP had humiliated him in front of the crew. "He misbehaved with me, he even broke my glasses. I never expected this could happen ... God save our country if this is the culture and behavior of our MPs."

Politicians from other parties condemned Gaikwad’s actions and the video was shared widely on social media.

Gaikwad took a train to Mumbai after being banned from the Indian airlines.