Woman, handicapped friend allege Jet Airways capt misbehaved with them.
Mumbai: A woman and her physically challenged colleague have alleged that a Jet Airways pilot had misbehaved with them after landing in Mumbai on April 3.
The complainants, Pooja Gujral and Jatinder Singh — a producer and music director — were allegedly subjected to physical and verbal abuse owing to Singh’s wheelchair, which, according to the pilot, had delayed the flight.
Ms Gujral lodged a written complaint with the airline as soon as they disembarked. But when they approached Sahar police station on Wednesday night, the police allegedly refused to lodge an FIR against the pilot and Ms Gujral was told that this was so as the pilot hadn’t sexually abused or raped her. However, the police filed a complaint.
The two, who had been to Chandigarh to attend a Film award function, stated that they had always been travelling in a similar fashion and had never faced any issues. Ms Gujral explained that while flying to Chandigarh on March 31 too they had checked in the wheelchair but faced no issues with the staff then.
It all began when the two passengers were waiting for the wheelchair to be handed over to them by the ground staff. The pilot then allegedly went up to the passengers and yelled at them, telling them the wheelchair check-in had delayed the flight.
According to Ms Gujral, when she intervened and said that the airline had checked it in at Chandigarh, he got infuriated. “He got mad at me and started screaming and pushed my hand saying ‘get out’. I moved him aside and warned him not to touch me and he replied, saying ‘you bloody Indian’. My friend intervened but he was nasty and rude to him too. Although then the crew apologised and asked him to stop, it was of no help. Not only did he dare to touch me and racism in my own country is bad but discrimination against the physically challenged is inhumane, barbaric and atrocious.”
Asked why an FIR was not filed, senior police inspector B.T. Mukhedkar said, “This incident doesn’t call for an FIR, hence an NC was registered.”
Stating that corrective action would be taken as per the company policy, and after due investigation, Jet Airways spokesperson said, “Jet Airways has zero tolerance towards any action of its employees that contravenes local or international laws prevalent in the countries of its operations. As regards the said incident, Jet Airways has noted guest feedback with concern and regrets the incident. The airline has as per policy initiated full-fledged investigations, based on specific inputs from guests, concerned departments and agencies. The above is without prejudice to all our rights in this regard.”