Police investigate Indian MP who beat airline employee
Police have launched an investigation after an Indian MP admitted beating an airline employee with a slipper.
Ravindra Gaikwad said he "hit him 25 times with my sandal" for "arrogance" after failing to get a business class seat on an Air India flight.
Air India, which filed a complaint on Thursday, said Mr Gaikwad was banned on all flights operated by the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA).
As a result, Mr Gaikwad had to return to his home city, Pune, by train.
The MP lost his temper after being told he could not fly business class on the Pune to Delhi flight because it was an all-economy flight, reports said.
The altercation happened when the duty manager was called after the plane landed in Delhi and the MP refused to get off.
The MP, who continues to refuse to apologise to the 60-year-old man, told the media: "I am not a BJP MP. I am a Shiv Sena MP and will not tolerate any insult. Let the employee complain. I will complain to the Speaker and other authorities."
The airline staff member told Asian News International that the MP had broken his glasses in the attack.
"When I told him what he was asking wasn't possible, he became abusive and started using foul language," he said. "God save our country if this is the culture and behaviour of our MPs."
Delhi Police said they had registered a preliminary case against Mr Gaikwad on Friday.
"We are transferring the case to our crime branch for a thorough investigation," special commissioner Dependra Pathak told reporters.
In a statement, the FIA has called for "strict action" against Mr Gaikwad by law enforcement agencies.
"We believe that an assault on any one of our employees is an assault on all of us and on ordinary law-abiding citizens of our country who work hard to earn a living," the statement said.
The story was the top trending topic on Twitter in India on Thursday.
Ashok Ganapathi Raju, the civil aviation minister, told reporters at parliament on Thursday: "No citizen will behave like this. Physical assault won't be encouraged and will always be condemned."
Last year an Indian MP was arrested for allegedly slapping an airline official at an airport in Andhra Pradesh after being told he could not board a flight with his family after the gate had closed.
The Shiv Sena party is a junior coalition partner in the Maharashtra state government, which is ruled by India's governing BJP.
Over time, it has acquired a reputation for promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism, and has resorted to physical attacks against those its members and supporters oppose.
In 2015, Shiv Sena activists doused the head of an Indian think-tank in black ink to protest against his support for the launch of a book by a former Pakistani foreign minister.