New Delhi: State-run airline Air India on Sunday released a concerning statement saying that vigilante resident welfare associations (RWAs) and neighbours were ostracising and calling police on its crew members, who went abroad as a part of their duty. Also Read - Maharashtra Logs Highest Single-day COVID Count With 67,000 Fresh Infections | Top Developments

“It is alarming to note that in many localities, vigilante Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and neighbours have started ostracising the crew, obstructing them from performing their duty or even calling in the police, simply because the crew travelled abroad in the course of their duty,” the airline said in a press release. Also Read - Corona Curfew Extended in Bhopal And Berasia Amid COVID Spike | Check Date And Timing

These “vigilantes” had “conveniently” forgotten that many a spouse, parent, sibling, child and near and dear ones were brought home safely from coronavirus-hit countries by the Air India crew, it added. Also Read - Remdesivir Price Capped by Govt | Check Revised Rates of Major Brands

The national carrier has earned the praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers for rescuing stranded Indians from foreign countries in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday itself, it brought back 262 Indians stranded in Rome in a special flight.

“We would like to appeal to all concerned, particularly the law enforcement agencies, to ensure that our crew are treated with the courtesy, respect and freedom that every citizen of this country deserves, especially in light of the fact of their having undertaken flight duties to affected countries to bring back Indian citizens,” the airline said.

The Indian carrier also appealed to the police to ensure that such incidents don’t take place and staffers and officials in the aviation sector are not harassed or ostracised during the crisis.

With PTI inputs