• Indian airline bars lawmaker after shoe attack

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    NEW DELHI: An Indian airline said Friday it had cancelled a booking by a Hindu nationalist lawmaker who repeatedly hit an Air India steward with his sandal in a row over which seat to take.

    Ravindra Gaikwad has admitted to hitting the 60-year-old employee of the national carrier 25 times because he was denied a business class seat on a flight to New Delhi from his home town of Pune.

    On Friday Indigo, a private airline, said it had cancelled Gaikwad’s return booking and banned him from future flights.

    “We have informed him through his (travel) agent about the cancellation. He was flying to Pune in a late afternoon flight,” spokesman Ajay Jasra told Agence France-Presse.

    Airlines including Air India have said they are considering a no-fly list that would ban disruptive or violent passengers.

    The incident caused major outrage but Gaikwad, who represents the hardline Shiv Sena party, has appeared unrepentant about his behavior, accusing the steward of “arrogance”.

    The airline filed a police complaint against the lawmaker over the assault but he is yet to be questioned.

    It is not the first time such an incident has taken place in India.

    Last year an MP was arrested on charges of assaulting an airline official after he and his family were prevented from boarding a flight because the gate had closed. He was later released on bail. AFP

    AFP/CC

     

     

     

     

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