Monday, December 09, 2019

AI probed broken sitar incident; no damage reported to New York airport baggage counter: MoCA

New Delhi: Hours after Rajya Sabha member Sonal Mansingh raised the incident of an artiste''s sitar being broken after an Air India flight, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Monday said the airline investigated the matter and found that procedure to handle fragile instruments was followed at both Delhi and New York airports.
An Air India spokesperson said an enquiry was conducted when the incident came to the airline''s notice and the video footage clearly showed no one had mishandled the sitar.
Eminent classical dancer Mansingh raised the issue of poor arrangements made by air carriers, including Air India, in transporting instruments of travelling artistes.

She also mentioned that sitar of a sitarist, who took an Air India flight to New York, was found broken on landing last month.

The sitar of classical musician Shubhendra Rao was broken and he had taken to social media soon after the incident in November to air his grievance.

Soon after Sonal Mansingh raised the issue on Monday, Rao said she brought to the attention of the Rajya Sabha about the grave injustice. He hoped that something good would come out of all this and that artistes do not continue to suffer at the hands of insensitive airlines like AirIndia.

Describing as "unfortunate" the incident where the artiste''s musical instrument was damaged in transit from New Delhi to New York aboard Air India flight, the ministry said a detailed report on the incident was sought to find out root cause and resolve the issue.

"Air India investigated the matter and on examination of the CCTV footage, it was observed that the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to handle fragile musical instruments was followed by airport teams at Delhi and JFK," the ministry said in a series of tweets.

As per their records, no damage was reported to baggage counter on arrival at JFK (New York), it added.

The airline''s spokesperson said video footage clearly shows that no one had mishandled the sitar.
09/12/19 PTI/Outlook
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