In a shocking video that has surfaced online, two personnel of IndiGo airlines were seen manhandling a 53-year-old man.
The footage, which is more than a minute long, shows the staff first having a verbal altercation with a passenger, identified as Rajiv Katiyal, and then a full-fledged scuffle breaks out when the passenger pushes a staff member to the ground.
The video also shows the airline staff holding the passenger by the throat, as the duo try to exchange punches and kicks.
Katiyal, who arrived from Chennai, was waiting for the bus inside the airport when the incident happened.
While the incident took place on October 15, it surfaced on Tuesday, after the video went viral.
According to reports, Katiyal got into an argument with the ground staff after they objected to him, standing under the shade of the plane's wing, while waiting for the carrier bus to arrive.
However, what is even more disturbing is that, the ground staff who shot the video and acted as a whistleblower, was sacked by IndiGo Airlines.
Montu Kalra, the whistleblower, told Times Now, that he had complained about the attitude of his colleagues and was sacked for it.
"I was sacked without any explanation. How will I take care of my family?" Kalra asked.
Detailed report sought
Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Tuesday said that a detailed report has been sought from budget carrier IndiGo regarding the incident at Delhi airport last month, when a passenger was manhandled by the airline's staff.
"IndiGo passenger incident from October 15 is deplorable and unfortunate. Passenger safety and security is our top-most priority," Sinha said in a series of tweets.
"MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation) has already asked for a detailed report from Indigo by tomorrow... Indigo senior executives have personally apologised to the passenger."
"We hope that the passenger will file a criminal complaint. This will enable us to take appropriate action."
On its part IndiGo airline's President and Whole Time Director Aditya Ghosh said: "I acknowledge the unpleasant experience our passenger went through, while engaging with our staff at Delhi airport. My personal apologies as this does not reflect our culture."
"I had personally spoken to the passenger and asked for an apology... Under the code of conduct violation, this incident was investigated and stern action was taken against the staff.â€ť
Referring to the incident, Deputy Commissioner of Police, IGI airport, Sanjay Bhatia said a compromise was arrived at between Katiyal and IndiGo staff Jubi Thomas after a complaint was made over a phone call to police.
Indigo put out a detailed statement which said, â€śTreating our customers with respect is core to what we do. Every day we take tens of thousands of happy customers to where they need to get to. It is for this reason that customers choose IndiGo more number of times than any other airline in the country. An incident happened in Delhi airport which is entirely the opposite of this and against what we stand for at IndiGo. The video of this incident came to our attention and we took action."
"Even while the investigation was going on we immediately suspended the involved employees. At IndiGo, dignity of our passengers and staff is of utmost importance. Any act that compromises the dignity of either is of a serious concern to us. Under the code of conduct violation, this incident was investigated by the designated committee and stern action was taken against the staff who was he main culprit by immediately terminating his employment. He was the one found instigating and aggravating the situation. He is the exact opposite of what IndiGoâ€™s customer service aims to be," the statement added.
Meanwhile, former Air India Chief and Railway Board Chairman, Ashwani Lohani also condemned the manhandling of airline passenger as "shameful" saying it was inhuman.
"The shameful manhandling by two airline (Indigo) employees in beating up a passenger on the tarmac is inhuman, disgusting to say the least and not at all acceptable in a civilised society," Lohani wrote on social media networking site Facebook.
(With IANS inputs)