Congress MLA Vinod Chandrakar has been accused of humiliating a female Air India staff member at Raipur airport on August 7 when she denied him the permission to board a plane. As per Air India’s initial report, he had arrived late at the airport.
“The boarding card of the MLA was printed in advance at 5:30. All the passengers were aboard the plane except five passengers. Announcement were repeatedly made at the security hold area (SHA) and the check-in area at 6:12,” the report says.
It further adds: “One passenger informed that the others were on their way. The Air India Raipur Airport manager, an Air India official and a Customer Service Agent (CSA) waited for the passengers.”
“The passengers did not show up till 6:13, and the airport manager got to the flight; the flight door was later shut at 6:18, and flight took off 6:30,” the Air India report says.
As per the report, he had allegedly even snatched the lady staffer’s identity card and her mobile phone which he refused to hand over to her even later.
“Lady staff — Airport Manager (APM), Raipur, was escorted by the CISF and another staff to airport back gate cargo and walked more than 2-km late night at 20:30 hours. In drizzling rain as being a lady saving herself, she travelled alone 24-km to home in late hours in fear,” states the report.
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According to an Air India official, “the staff acted as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) at the D-20 boarding gate and tried to avoid the delay of the flight as flight was having onward connection scheduled to Ranchi/Kolkata sector. Any delay would have consequential delay effect on further schedule.”
However, the Congress MLA from Mahasamund assembly of Chhattisgarh, refuted the charges and said that as an MLA he knows how to behave. He said he reached the airport at around 5:30 and the delay happened because his baggage was checked twice. He reached the final gate at 6:05, by then the Air India staff yelled at him and did not allow him to board.
He also asked the CCTV footage to be checked and challenged the female staff of Air India to prove the allegations against him.
Air India spokesperson, Dhananjay Kumar, has said that the management has taken it seriously and ordered a detailed inquiry.