Saturday, February 20, 2021

Air India respond to Manu Bhaker: Our official sought valid documents of your weapon on board

New Delhi: National carrier Air India has responded to ace shooter Manu Bhaker's claims that she was treated "like a criminal" because for carrying guns on board the aircraft for training at the MP Shooting Academy.

19-year-old Olympics shooter Bhaker made the sensational charge against national carrier, Air India, on Friday.

Taking to Twitter on Friday, the Arjuna awardee said that Air India did not allow her, on first instance, to board her scheduled flight from Delhi to Bhopal, citing lack of permit to carry her guns and shooting equipment, and even demanded a bribe.

Bhaker said, “Not allowing me to board flight AI 437 at IGI Delhi and asking now 10200rs Despite all valid Documentation and DGCA permit . Top of that Manoj Gupta Air india incharge doesn’t recognise DGCA @narendramodi @HardeepSPuri @AmitShah @VasundharaBJP shall I pay this Bribes or!!!!”

Bhaker alleged of being made to feel like a criminal.

Late on Friday evening, however, Air India rebutted the shooter’s claims. It tweeted to her, “Dear Ms Bhaker. Our Delhi Airport team has confirmed that the official at our counter had only sought for valid documents as per rules for carriage of your weapon on board. In absence of the same, legitimate specified charges for the arms were conveyed to you. No one sought a ‘bribe’ as has been alleged. You were issued boarding pass on your assurance of furnishing valid documents before boarding.”

Air India added, “Immediately after the official valid documents were shown by you at the boarding point, u were allowed to board.

It may please be noted that Air India has always encouraged and respected Sportspersons and have many an eminent sports legends working with us.”

Bhaker, however continued to claim that she had the valid Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) permit she needed to carry her two pistols and ammunition, but the official on ground insisted on a stamp and signature on the same, a requirement nullified as per latest DGCA rules.

Manu Bhaker thanked Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju for ensuring she boarded the flight to Bhopal.

20/02/21 Poulomi Saha/India Today

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