A pilot of domestic carrier IndiGo has been accused of sexual harassment charges by a female cabin crew member of the same airline, reported Hindustan Times. The alleged incident took place on April 16, when the flight she was on-board was cruising and the co-pilot was in the washroom.
In her complaint to the Delhi Police, the victim said that she had gone to serve the pilot hot water and was sitting as observer when he asked her for a selfie and then molested her.
“I was operating on a Bengaluru-Amritsar-Srinagar-Delhi flight on April 16 and during the first leg of the flight, the captain asked another crew to send me in the cockpit along with hot water. I went inside the cockpit and first officer went out to use the washroom. I saw captain had his mobile phone in his hand with camera on mode. I took the observer seat afterwards,” the victim said in her complaint.
“Immediately, when first officer went out and closed the door, he asked me to take a selfie with him, which I clearly denied it. Then he got up from the seat and move towards me, which made me uncomfortable and then I also got up from my seat,” she claimed. The victim then described how the captain sexually harassed her till first officer came inside the cockpit.
The woman went on to allege that after landing at Amritsar, the pilot came to her and asked for phone number and continued to stalk her after every landing. He also tried to hug her after landing in Delhi, which was the final destination for flight and crew members. She informed the rest of the crew and the airline management in Delhi about the incident and filed an FIR with the Delhi Police next day.
Taking an immediate cognizance, Delhi police registered a case of harassment and investigation is currently underway. On the other hand, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India’s aviation regulator, is also investigating the matter as it is linked to safety of passengers.
Meanwhile, an IndiGo spokesperson said, “The company is looking into an incident on-board Bengaluru-Amritsar-Srinagar-Delhi flight on April 16 and will be investigating the matter as per its applicable policy. Following the completion of investigation, the company will take necessary action.”
In October last year, a flyer was offloaded from an IndiGo flight and arrested after he allegedly molested a crew member. The accused was identified as Raju Gangappa, who hailed from Bengaluru. In the year 2016, a similar incident occurred when a man stripped off his clothes and harassed the flight attendants to assist him. The incident took place in IndiGo’s flight number 6E-256 from Bhubaneshwar to Delhi.