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Apologise or else will file defamation case: Sena MP to AI officials

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Delhi Police has registered an FIR against Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad on a complaint by Air India and its staff member.

On Thursday, Gaikwad had hit a 60-year-old Air India staff member with a slipper.

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikward had to travel by train today after domestic airlines unitedly "banned" him from flying on their aircraft for assaulting an Air India officer.

The Sena lawmaker said he has also raised the issue with Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, urging him to take action in the matter.

Gaikwad, whose Lok Sabha profile lists his special interests as helping the poor and raising voice against injustice, said he would not apologise to the Air India officer whom he assaulted, and instead blamed him for the incident.

The airline filed a police complaint against the lawmaker over the assault but he is yet to be questioned.

Sukumar, the employee who was attacked, said he first requested the MP to deboard in English but was told to speak in Hindi.

Past year an Indian MP was arrested for alleging 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.

Two cases have been filed by Air India against Mr Raikwad; "the law will take its own course", said Mr Raut, making it clear that the party will not punish its offending MP.

"He was arrogant. I hit him 25 times with my sandal", he told the media.

Air India has cancelled his return ticket from Delhi to Pune at 4 pm on Friday.

Gaikwad also remained unapologetic about the incident and dared the Delhi Police to arrest him. "They must be treated at par", said Rao.

The rules state that "no person onboard an aircraft shall assault, intimidate or threaten, whether physically or verbally a crew member/ any person.Which is likely to endanger the safety of the aircraft or of any person". "He has assured us that the party will advise the MP not to fly Air India today", said an Air India source. So Duty Manager Sukumar Raman arrived on the jet to reason with him.

The Shiv Sena on Thursday night sought an explanation from Gaikwad.

Gaikwad said he would also complain to the Lok Sabha Speaker about the incident. 'A Shiv Sena MP, ' he proclaims proudly, adding that the Shiv Sena doesn't know - or care - about the law.

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