India’s national carrier Air India Friday lifted the travel ban it imposed on a senior lawmaker of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally Shiv Sena over two weeks back.

The travel restrictions were lifted after receiving the order from India’s Civil Aviation Ministry, a day after lawmakers of the western state of Maharashtra-based Hindu fundamentalist Shiv Sena party created ruckus in the Parliament over the ban by Air India and other private airlines.

The Shiv Sena lawmaker, Ravindra Gaikwad had bragged about beating an employee of Air India two weeks back multiple times with his slippers as he was refused a business-class seat in a flight to Delhi that only had economy class.

Despite the ruckus, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju Thursday stood his ground, saying the “law should take its course. Aircraft are machines where people fly and safety is important. Safety will not be compromised.”

The Home Minister, however, later said that the Civil Aviation Minister would talk to all stakeholders to reach an amicable solution at the earliest.

Earlier that day, Gaikwad presented his version of the Air India incident and said he had only shoved the manager when he insulted parliamentarians. “I apologise for my behavior but not to the Air India official who abused and manhandled me,” Gaikwad told the Parliament.

Some two weeks back, all Indian airlines — in a first in the country — banned the lawmaker from their flights in the wake of him beating the Air India employee with his slippers multiple times and later bragging about the incident. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh