IndiGo bars CPI(M) leader E.P. Jayarajan, two others from flying over in-flight protest

E.P. Jayarajan. File photo.

E.P. Jayarajan. File photo. | Photo Credit: GOPAKUMAR S

IndiGo airline has barred senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader E.P. Jayarajan and two Youth Congress activists from flying with the airline over their alleged unruly behaviour onboard a flight in which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was travelling to Thiruvananthapuram from Kannur on June 13.

The ban is up to three weeks for Mr. Jayarajan, who is also the convenor of the Left Democratic Front in Kerala, from travelling on international as well as domestic flights of IndiGo, while a travel ban of two weeks was slapped on the Youth Congress workers.

The two Congress activists allegedly protested against Mr. Vijayan aboard the aircraft when it landed at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport. They raised slogans and rushed towards Mr. Vijayan, citing his alleged role in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case. Mr. Jayarajan, who was accompanying the Chief Minister, blocked the aisle and pushed back Kannur district Youth Congress secretary Naveen Kumar and Mattannur block president Farzeen Majeed.

The no-fly notice served to Mr. Majeed stated that the conduct of the Youth Congress workers amounted to unruly behaviour as per the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR). While passing the order, an internal committee which probed the incident held that the actions of the respondents were acts of ‘Level I’ unruly behaviour (physical gestures, verbal harassment, unruly inebriation, etc.). “ The committee unanimously holds the unruly passengers guilty of Level I offence under the CAR and, further in view of the repenting attitude of the respondents, this committee holds that the passengers shall be banned for a period of two weeks from the date of passing of this order from taking any IndiGo flights to/from/within or outside India.”

The action of Mr. Jayarajan was considered as a Level 2 offence, which involves physically abusive behaviour (pushing, kicking, hitting, grabbing or inappropriate touching or sexual harassment, etc.), according to airline sources. The no-fly rule unveiled in 2017 has a provision for banning an unruly passenger from a minimum of three months to a maximum of two years, depending on the severity of the incident.

The ban, which is currently under effect, is likely to end on July 30 for the Youth Congress workers. However, Mr. Jayarajan denied reports that he was served no-fly notice by the airline.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 8:55:54 pm |