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Row over eviction of MP from plane

Thiruvananthapuram: The eviction of a Member of Parliament from an Air India aircraft after the captain refused to fly turned into a major row on Tuesday with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader threatening to move Parliament’s Privileges Committee on the issue and the pilots’ union coming out in support of their colleague.

Alleging that the pilot behaved rudely, Rajya Sabha MP P.V. Abdul Wahab said he would move the Privileges Committee on the issue. “If this is the kind of treatment that a Parliament member has to face then what would be the experience of the common man,” Mr. Wahab was quoted as saying in Dubai.

He and his wife were to fly from Kozhikode to Kochi from where they were to catch a connecting flight to Dubai. After he was asked to get down from the aircraft at the Kozhikode airport, the couple took a direct flight to Dubai.

Supporting the pilot, Capt. Rajat Rana, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association said it would protest if any action was taken against him.

ICPA General Secretary Capt. Vikram Yadav told PTI that the MP was asked to disembark from the aircraft only after he “opened the cockpit door, entered inside and abused the pilot. He entered a totally restricted zone which is illegal.”

The passenger abused the pilot by calling him “a glorified driver” and threatened to get him “grounded,” Mr. Yadav claimed and asserted that “if any action is taken against the pilot, the ICPA will fully back him.”

An Air India spokesperson said “we are ascertaining the facts in view of different versions coming out.”

Capt. Rana told reporters: “I did whatever keeping flight security in mind. It had nothing to do with any personal remarks or anything.” — PTI

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