New Delhi: Soon after a video of two Indigo airline staffers beating up a flyer surfaced on the social media and all hell broke loose on the top domestic airline, the company bosses have written an apology letter addressed to the Civil Aviation Minister, saying “we were at fault”.
Indigo President and Director Aditya Ghosh has written to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju that Indigo employee Montu Kalra, who is “claiming to be the whistleblower”, was sacked for instigating his junior colleagues to beat up Vinay Katiyal and provoking the assault by shooting the incident.
The drama unfolded on October 15, when Indigo flight 6E 487 landed in Delhi and Katyal and the Indigo staff members started arguing over something before boarding a ferry bus. In the viral video, Katyal can be seen muttering under his breath and one of the staff members, visibly annoyed, taking an offence and asking the bus driver to move and his colleagues not to let Katyal board the bus.
In the video, Katyal can be seen asking the staffer, "How dare you touch me?" Katyal, then, grabbed the staff member by his lapel and the two get into in a fistfight.
Taking note of the video and media reports, Raju on Wednesday condemned the assault and sought an independent report from aviation regulator DGCA; saying fisticuffs are not acceptable in a civilised society.
Ghosh, in his letter has written, “I personally called and apologized to Mr Katyal (the customer) 3 weeks ago. Not now, but on the same night. In fact, I remember telling Mr Katyal that I had seen the video and assured him that we will investigate this matter thoroughly.
“Even during the pendency of the investigation, we recognized that whatever may have been the provocation, my colleagues should have exercised restraint. Even while the investigation was being conducted, we immediately suspended the involved employees.”
Ghosh further justifies the sacking of Kalra, who was being hailed as a whistleblower in the case. He has said that Kalra was equally responsible for the incident and that instead of stopping his junior colleagues he “instigated” them to assault the passenger and shot the video.
The Indigo executive writes, “It is important for us to point out that Montu Kalra was not terminated because he either shot a video or as he is now claiming, brought this to our attention. In fact, the reality is that it is the other employee, Juby Thomas, is the one who this issue with his supervisor as per Indigo’s standard operating procedure and brought this incident to the attention of the company (sic).”