Wednesday, November 08, 2017

IndiGo roasted over manhandling incident; ministry demands immediate report

Public and social media outrage poured on IndiGo over an incident of manhandling a passenger, the airline's late public apology three weeks after the incident and its management's firing of the whistleblower of that incident, instead of the employees that assaulted the passenger.

The stock of the publicly listed holding company Interglobe Aviation, slipped as much as about 2% to Rs 1182.9 during morning trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, #boycottIndiGo trended on Twitter as millions of posts condemned the incident and the airline's stance.

"Do nothing for 3 weeks, sack whistle-blower, & put perfunctory apology when exposed.

Indigo is not a low-cost airline. Just a cheap airline," said Ramesh Srivats, a Bengaluru-based active Twitter influencer who has 3 million followers.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha called the incident "deplorable and unfortunate".

In a series of posts, Sinha said the ministry has asked for a detailed report today and added that he will meet Montu Kalra, the employee whose services have been terminated. He said he also hoped that the passenger Rajiv Katiyal would file a police complaint against his assaulters.

When contacted, Kalra said he hasn't been called by the ministry yet. Katiyal didn't respond to calls, nor did he reply to messages.

In a stern post, Ashwani Lohani, national carrier Air India's former chairman took to Facebook, calling the incident "inhuman, disgusting" and "not at all acceptable in a civilised society". He said "the sacking of the whistleblower is the icing on the cake of gross misconduct".
08/11/17 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times