New Delhi, Dec 14: Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu and his followers almost came to scuffles with IndiGo ground staff and flight crew as the former alongwith his disciples took a flight IndiGo 6E 482 from Vadodara to Delhi on November 10 .
First, the godman and his disciples reached late at the Vadodara airport and the ground staff of IndiGo refused to give them boarding passes as the plane was about to takeoff.
Scuffles ensued and Asaram Bapu's followers raised slogans against the carrier.
“There was an altercation between the station manager and the godman, and his supporters started shouting slogans. The passenger was ultimately issued a boarding pass,” said a source.
At one point during the flight, the guru reportedly refused to wear his seatbelt. When a member of the crew, Jincy Mathew, insisted on the safety regulation, Asaram Bapu allegedly flew into a rage. “He started beating his chest and shouting ‘Bapu ka apmaan hua' (Bapu has been insulted),” said the source.
A spokesperson for Asaram Bapu said there was an altercation between a crew member and an aide of the guru.
“A crew member misbehaved with Bapu's second-in-command Suresh Anand, who was travelling with him along with 15 other supporters. The issue was regarding visiting the washroom, which the crew member refused to allow him to do.”
The spokesperson added Suresh Anand had complained formally, and “the airline apologised in writing for the crew member's misbehaviour”.
An IndiGo spokesperson said the problem started after “the passenger wanted to use the washroom while the cockpit was being served”. “During this time, as per security norms, the front galley area is secured and the washroom is not allowed to be accessed by any passenger...”
The IndiGo pilot called in security assistance and anti-hijack, anti-sabotage personnel were put on standby as the plane landed in Delhi.
The crew member informed the pilot, who requested ground personnel for security assistance upon landing. The CISF was waiting on the tarmac when the aircraft landed at 11.10 am.
“The incident happened on November 10 on the Vadodara-Delhi flight 6E 482. But no case was registered with the police as both parties, Asaram Bapu and IndiGo Airlines, reached a mutual agreement,” CISF spokesperson S K Saraswat said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport), R A Sanjeev said, “We came to know of the incident, but no formal complaint was lodged either by the airline or the CISF.”