New Delhi: Days after comedian Kunal Kamra was put on the no-fly list by four airlines, the IndiGo Captain who flew Kunal Kamra and Arnab Goswami asked IndiGo management why the airline didn’t consult him before banning the comedian.
“Disheartened to learn that my airline took decision solely on the basis of social media posts. As captain of 6E5317 Mumbai-Lucknow flight on January 28, I do not find…events reportable in any way. Mr Kamra’s behaviour, while unsavoury, was not qualifying of a level 1 unruly passenger.,” the IndiGo captain said, who chose to remain anonymous.
Although enraged by the airline’s decision, the captain said that the flying suspension was ‘not shocking’ for him. He further added that pilots have the right to attest to incidents which were similar or worse in nature that were not deemed unruly.
Subsequently, IndiGo released a statement taking cognizance of the pilot’s letter. “We have taken cognizance of the letter of the pilot, who was operating the flight on which Kunal Kamra and Arnab Goswami were traveling. We have received the relevant statements and the internal committee has initiated the investigation regarding this incident,” the statement read.
Four airlines, including Air India, SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir grounded comedian Kunal Kamra on Wednesday under government directions, after his video questioning senior journalist Arnab Goswami went viral across social media platforms.
“Offensive behaviour designed to provoke and create disturbance inside an aircraft is absolutely unacceptable and endangers safety of air travellers. We are left with no option but to advise other airlines to impose similar restrictions on the person concerned,” Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had tweeted earlier in the day.
The controversy blared up after Kamra allegedly heckled senior journalist Arnab Goswami, the editor of Republic TV, on IndiGo’s Mumbai-Lucknow (6E5317) flight on Tuesday. “Viewers today want to know if Arnab is a coward or a nationalist. Arnab, this is for national interest. I am part of the tukde-tukde narrative. You should deflate me. You should take the enemy of the states down. You should make sure that the country is in safe hands of Narendra Modi. You should fight against dynasts like Rahul Gandhi, who I support, on 10 Tughlaq Lane. Arnab, you should have a reply, Arnab. Arnab, are you a coward or are you a journalist? Are you a coward or are you a journalist or a nationalist? Who are you, Arnab,” he could be heard saying in the video clip.
However, Goswami chose to remain quiet and did not answer back.
As the incident blasted across social media platforms with many users coming out in support of Kamra, the comedian on Thursday shared a photograph on Twitter of himself holding a placard that read, “Arnab I just want to say I am not sorry.”
Ironically, he captioned the image saying, “Sorry for not being sorry.”