Controversial Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who had infamously assaulted an Air India staffer aboard a flight, can finally heave a sigh of relief. Gaikwad had attacked an Air India employee and then proceeded to even brag about his “feat” in full media glare. The incident sparked of unprecedented outrage and an unprecedented action followed.
For nearly two weeks Gaikwad found himself banned by airlines from boarding a flight. Air India and five private airlines banned the 56-year-old MP from travelling in their flight, which led to Gaikwad being forced to travel via train. It was reported that Gaikwad tried to fly 4 times even under false identities, but his ticket could not be processed, although the MP himself denied the same. Eventually, Shiv Sena had to arrange chartered flights for their grounded boorish MP.
Finally 2 days back, the aviation ministry ordered Air India to immediately lift the two-week-old ban. The airline complied with the order and now private airlines, which were waiting for AI’s decision, will follow suit. This came after Sena created a ruckus in the Parliament over the issue, and the formerly unrepentant MP expressed regret and also apologised for his conduct:
— kumar uttam (@meetuttam) April 6, 2017
This climb-down by the Government though peeved some folks:
— Nidhi Razdan (@RazdanNidhi) April 7, 2017
It’s a sad day for Air India staff. Govt should have stood by them and demanded apology rather than capitulate to a thug.
— Sruthijith (@sruthijith) April 7, 2017
Prime Time debates too were held on TV channels, discussing how Gaikwad was let off easily. But was he? Although the flying ban, in itself an unprecedented move, was lifted after making the MP suffer for 2 weeks, the legal processes are still underway.
Soon after the actual incident, Delhi Police had registered an FIR against Gaikwad, acting on a complaint filed by Air India. “A case has been registered under section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person) of the IPC. We are transferring the case to Crime Branch for thorough probe,” Delhi Police spokesperson Dependra Pathak had told the media then.
Yesterday, when a social media troll questioned Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha over the revocation of the ban, Sinha reiterated that the 2 cases were still on, and the lawmaker would face the music of the law:
Answer: Case has been registered against Shri Gaikwad including Sections 308 (culpable homicide) and 355 (assault) for Mar 23 incident. https://t.co/Z7qziZ5yGH
— Jayant Sinha (@jayantsinha) April 8, 2017
Not only is the FIR still valid, the sections under which Gaikwad has been booked are very serious. Legal minds on social media feared that the sections under which Gaikwad was charged were in fact too serious for the incident:
— Anirban Roy (@AnirbanFromRLF) April 8, 2017
Gaikwad himself had questioned the rationale of charging him with section 308 of IPC (attempt to murder). However, it appears that the police has not relented on this aspect. While the MP may now fly again, the FIRs will hopefully keep him on his toes, and justice would be served. If not, “gaikwadgiri” could indeed become a trend:
— ทαмαsкαr ทαмαsτє (@NamaskarNamaste) April 8, 2017