Wednesday, February 21, 2024

IndiGo assault case: “It’s wrong to hit the pilot, but why was he blaming the passengers?” says eyewitness – N.F Times

New Delhi: In the midst of the storm over a passenger assaulting a pilot of IndiGo airlines following a 13-hour delay in take off, a fellow-passenger on Monday accused the pilot of blaming the flyers and escalating the tension in the aircraft.

The Delhi to Goa flight (6E-2175) that was scheduled to depart at 7:40 am on Sunday, encountered an unexpected delay of 13 hours at the Delhi airport, causing frustration and anger among passengers.

The IndiGo pilot was assaulted inside the aircraft by a passenger while making an announcement of a delay and the video of the attack went viral on social media.

One of the passengers, an Indo-Russian model-cum-actress Evgenia Belskaia recorded the entire incident. In her Instagram story Belskaia said: “I was flying with my team to Goa from Delhi and arrived at the airport early to board the flight. The IndiGo team initially informed us of a one-hour delay, but the situation escalated as hours passed without any resolution.”

“After enduring a 10-hour delay, we were finally allowed to board the plane, only to be informed that the delay had extended to two hours. This prompted irate passengers to question the crew and the pilot,” she said.

According to Belskaia, the situation took a dramatic turn when the pilot confronted the passengers, accusing them of being the cause of the delay.

“The pilot came and said, ‘You are asking too many questions, and we missed our turn because of this,’” she said.

The eyewitness emphasised that the pilot shifted the blame onto the frustrated passengers, further exacerbating the already tense situation.

In a video message, Belskaia expressed her disapproval, saying, “It’s wrong to hit the pilot, but why was he blaming the passengers? Everyone was nervous, and instead of supporting them, he made it worse.”

The IndiGo pilot, who was assaulted inside the aircraft by a passenger while making an announcement of a delay, has filed a complaint following which the Delhi Police registered an FIR.

The viral footage shows a passenger, identified as Sahil Kataria, wearing a yellow hoodie, running up to the aircraft’s pilot and physically assaulting him in a fit of anger.

“Chalana hai to chala, nahi to gate khol. (If you’re going to fly, then fly. If not then open the gate),” he can be heard saying in the video, which was being filmed by a fellow passenger.

The incident occurred while the pilot was addressing passengers about the delay, attributed to Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) norms, leading to a crew change after prolonged delays.

In another viral video, Kataria is seen apologising apparently to the pilot. Kataria while being deboarded could be heard saying “sorry sir”, in reply, the person shooting the video can be heard saying “no sorry”.


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