Passenger hits IndiGo pilot at Delhi airport over flight delay, arrested

Disruptive Passenger Arrested After Assaulting IndiGo Pilot at Delhi Airport
Disruptive Passenger Arrested After Assaulting IndiGo Pilot at Delhi Airport
Disruptive Passenger Arrested After Assaulting IndiGo Pilot at Delhi Airport

New Delhi | A passenger on an IndiGo flight was arrested after he assaulted a pilot when he was making an announcement regarding a delay in takeoff at the Delhi airport, police said on Monday.

A purported video of the incident, which took place Sunday, surfaced on social media and showed Sahil Katariya hitting the pilot as he was making the announcement inside the aircraft, which was bound for Goa.

The flight took off from Delhi at 6 pm after a delay of more than 10 hours, according to flight tracking website flightradar24.

The incident happened on a day dense fog majorly impacted operations at the Delhi airport leading to many flights being diverted, cancelled or delayed.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said unruly passenger behaviour is unacceptable and "will be dealt with strongly" in line with existing legal provisions.

According to him, aviation regulator DGCA will issue an SOP (standard operating procedure) for airlines on better communication and facilitation of passengers to minimise discomfort in view of flight cancellations and delays due to adverse weather.

In a statement, the airline said a passenger "assaulted" the co-pilot and that the matter had been referred to an independent internal committee for his inclusion in the "no-fly list".

In the short video clip of the incident inside the aircraft, other crew members could be seen shouting at Katariya, in a yellow jacket, after he hit the pilot.

Katariya could be heard saying that they had been sitting in the plane for long and that they should be allowed to deboard if it was not taking off.

In another video clip, Katariya was seen being taken out of the aircraft by security personnel even as he apologised for his conduct.

He was then taken to a police station and later arrested.

According to the police, the co-pilot of flight number 6E 2175, between Delhi and Goa, and other security personnel gave a complaint regarding one passenger assaulting and misbehaving with them in the flight.

Katariya misbehaved and hit co-pilot Anup Kumar and created nuisance inside the aircraft, the complaint stated.

The passenger was agitated as the flight was delayed for several hours, police said.

A case under sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 290 (punishment for creating public nuisance) of the IPC and section 22 of the Aircraft Rules has been registered against the passenger and investigation taken up, another police officer said.

In its statement, IndiGo said the passenger was declared unruly and handed over to the local law enforcement agencies for further action as per protocol.

According to the airline, the incident is being referred to the independent internal committee for appropriate action and inclusion of the passenger on the 'no-fly list' as laid down in regulatory guidelines.

In a post on X, Scindia said all stakeholders were working round the clock to minimise fog-related impact.

"Incidences of unruly behaviour amidst this are unacceptable, and will be dealt with strongly in line with the existing legal provisions," he said.

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