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HomeFact CheckViralFive-Year-Old Video Of IndiGo Staffers Assaulting Passenger Resurfaces Post Airbus Deal

Five-Year-Old Video Of IndiGo Staffers Assaulting Passenger Resurfaces Post Airbus Deal

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Claim
IndiGo staffers assault and drag a passenger on the runway recently.

Fact
Viral video is of an incident from October 2017.

Several social media users are sharing a video of what appears to be two airline staffers manhandling a passenger on the tarmac, preventing him from boarding an airport shuttle bus. The users claim the staffers are from budget airline IndiGo, which recently reportedly clinched the biggest-ever aircraft order in the history of commercial aviation. Rahul Bhatia, co-founder of IndiGo, India’s largest airline, on June 19 made history by placing the order for 500 Airbus A320 family single aisle aircraft at the Paris Air Show, a deal worth almost $50 billion at list price, though IndiGo would have got a hefty discount thanks to the scale and the airline’s impeccable credentials, stated a Times of India report.

The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here. We received this claim on our Whatsapp tipline (9999499044), too, requesting it to be fact-checked.

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Fact Check

Newschecker ran a keyword search for “IndiGo passenger assault”, which led us to multiple news reports from November 2017, stating that IndiGo ground staff manhandled and dragged a passenger at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on October 15 after a tiff.

A comparison of the screenshots featured in the news reports with the viral video confirms they are about the same incident.

According to a Times of India report, November 8, 2017, the drama unfolded on October 15 when 6E 487 flew into Delhi from Chennai. After alighting from the Airbus A-320, a passenger Rajiv Katiyal got into an argument with some ground staffers over some issue and he allegedly abused them. “Two to three IndiGo ground staffers stopped Katyal from boarding the bus, which was taking passengers to the terminal,” read the report.

We learnt from an India Today report that the altercation was a result of the staff members objecting to Katiyal taking shade under a plane’s wing while waiting for the carrier bus.

“Union Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha condemned the assault of the passenger, sought a detailed report from the airline and said that the ‘culprit has been sacked’,” read the report.

An apology statement was tweeted by the official IndiGo Twitter handle on November 7, 2017.

The NDTV report stated that the employee who was sacked was Montu Kalra, who shot the video; the two employees seen on the video, Juby Thomas and Sahiv Sharma, have been issued warning letters. We learnt that the airline later put out a detailed four-page defence in which it said its staff had followed the Standard Operating Procedure and acted in self-defence, but was attacked first by the passenger.

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Conclusion

A 2017 video of IndiGo staffers manhandling a passenger has gone viral with users falsely claiming it to be of a recent incident.

Result: Missing Context

Source
Times of India report, November 8, 2017
NDTV report, November 8, 2017
India Today report, November 8, 2017
Tweet, IndiGo, November 7, 2017


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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