IndiGo manager's report is fudged: Cong on in-flight protest row

by IANS |

Thiruvananthapuram, June 16 (IANS) The Congress on Thursday dismissed the report that was prepared by the IndiGo Airlines manager as fudged and said it did not represent a true and fair view.

The IndiGo Thiruvananthapuram airport manager's report was in connection with an incident that took place on Monday, when its flight arriving here from Kannur witnessed sloganeering by three Youth Congress workers against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who was on the flight.

Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan on Thursday called up Varun Dwivedi, Associate Vice-President of the airline and expressed his displeasure.

Hearing the complaint, the top official asked Satheesan to give a complaint in writing.

Satheesan's letter says, "This is in response to our conversation about the report submitted to the Station House Officer, Valiyathura Police Station, Thiruvananthapuram by Indigo's Airport Manager regarding the so-called protest against the Chief Minister. As per the information available in public domain, the report given by the Airport Manager of Indigo to SHO, Valiyathura PS is fake, frivolous and conspicuous,".

His letter further states, "Moreover, the details of the report are in stark contrast to the statements given by the fellow passengers, including the LDF Convenor E.P. Jayarajan (a top CPI-M leader and former State Industries Minister) who was a witness to the incident.

"Jayarajan, who accompanied Vijayan in the flight, had said during an interview given to a leading TV channel that the two Youth Congress workers raised slogans against him seeking his resignation after Vijayan got out of the aircraft.

"In addition to that, CPI-M State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has categorically stated that the incident took place after Vijayan had left the aircraft.

"However, the report given by the Indigo Airport Manager is understood to have alleged that the protesters attacked the chief minister. Moreover, the report fails to mention the name of Jayarajan who had brutally manhandled the protesters, which was aired in all the TV news channels with clear video coverage."

"The report submitted states that a 'man accompanying the CM had allegedly pushed the two away'.

"Jayarajan, who is the LDF convener and former Minister of the State is a known figure in the state. To omit his name from the report in itself raises serious doubts on the probity of the officer who is learned to be hailing from Kannur and has done so under political pressure and influence from higher officials from Police, CPI-M leaders and the Chief Minister's office.

"Hence, I request you to conduct a fair inquiry into this issue and submit a truthful report to the investigating agencies and Director General of Civil Aviation," wrote Satheesan in the letter.

There were three Youth Congress workers on board the aircraft and of this two of them are presently remanded in judicial custody, while the third person is still in hiding.

One of the protesters, who is a school teacher at a government school in the home town of Jayarajan, has been suspended from service by the school management.

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