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After Govt's Letter, Air India Lifts Ban on Sena MP Gaikwad; Others May Follow

Air India on Friday lifted the flight ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, nearly two weeks after he was barred from flying after he assaulted the national carrier's staffer.

News18.com

Updated:April 7, 2017, 6:19 PM IST
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After Govt's Letter, Air India Lifts Ban on Sena MP Gaikwad; Others May Follow
File photo of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad. (Image: CNN-News18/TV Grab)
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New Delhi: Air India on Friday lifted the flight ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, nearly two weeks after he was barred from flying after he assaulted the national carrier's staffer.

The ban was reportedly revoked after the airline received a letter from the civil aviation ministry to do so.

Gaikwad had written a regret letter to the civil aviation minister on Thursday over the "unfortunate incident".

"We have lifted the ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad with immediate effect, soon after receiving the instructions from Aviation ministry," an Air India spokesperson said.

Addressing a press conference in the evening, GP Rao, General Manager of Air India corporate communication, said there was no pressure from the government to lift the ban. “Gaikwad tendered an apology to the civil aviation ministry. Then we got a directive from the ministry to lift the ban.”

Meanwhile, Private airlines are likely to follow Air India's decision and revoke the ban on Sena MP.

CNN-News18 had reported on Thursday that the national carrier was likely to lift the ban on Gaikwad in a day or two.

Gaikwad, who was accused of beating up an Air India employee, on Thursday attended the Lok Sabha proceedings for the first time after the incident last month.

During the Zero Hour, Gaikwad presented his side of the story in front of the House and accused the Air India employee of misbehaving with him.

"I am a victim of injustice. What is my mistake? The employee was shouting at me. When I told that I am an MP, the Air India employee said 'so what you are not Narendra Modi'. They misbehaved with me. I can show you clippings as proof," he said.

Gaikwad dismissed the claims made by Air India that he created ruckus inside the aircraft.

He said after the Pune-Delhi flight landed in the national capital, he asked for the complaint register. "Then an officer came, then two or three more officers came... When I said that I was a politician, one of them said 'But you are not Narendra Modi. Are you?'" said the Sena MP, giving his version of the incident.

Earlier, Air India had cancelled Gaikwad’s Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Delhi tickets for April 17 and 24, respectively.

This was the seventh attempt on the part of the Sena MP to book a flight on Air India, which barred him from flying after he assaulted the airline's staffer last month.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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