NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who had last week gone to Leh by a Border Security Force (BSF) helicopter to attend the Sindhu Darshan function, reportedly delayed an Air India flight and made three passengers de-board the flight.
Rijiju was accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and they were to fly to Delhi from Leh on June 24, when the reported incident took place. Reports doing the rounds in social media is that the three people who were deplaned by AI staff are two serving IAF officers and their child.
In a video captured by one of the passengers inside the plane, an irate passenger can be seen arguing. Other passengers can be seen applauding him, though the context of the argument is not clear through the video. However, the Minister has denied all the allegations and said he was not aware that three passengers were de-boarded.
Rijiju has gone on record before a national news channel and denied that the plane was delayed due "communication gap." But an internal report, accessed by the news channel, shows that the airport manager has clearly mentioned that the flight was delayed due to VIP movement of Rijiju.
Rijiju has clarified the boarding time of the passengers in his Facebook page:
According to reports, the helicopter could not take off due to bad weather and last-minute-arrangements were made to fly Rijiju and the Deputy CM by Air India flight AI 446.