Police detain Pawan Khera at Delhi airport after his deplaning from Raipur flight

Congress leaders sat on dharna at the tarmac in protest and did not allow the leader to be taken away without an arrest warrant.

Published: 23rd February 2023 02:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2023 04:31 PM   |  A+A-


Congress leaders stage a protest at the IGI Airport after Pawan Khera was allegedly deboarded from the plane in New Delhi, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Pawan Khera was detained by police on Thursday after being deplaned from a flight to Raipur in connection with his alleged remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the party said.

Khera is reportedly arrested by the Assam Police, who arrived at the airport with a First Information Report (FIR). 

ALSO READ | Remarks against PM: Supreme Court orders Pawan Khera's release on interim bail till Feb 28

The arrest is made after Khera, in a recent press conference, while demanding a joint parliamentary probe into the Adani-Hindenburg row, mixed the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gautam Adani, the promoter of embattled Adani Group. While it appeared that Khera had fumbled when he said “Narendra Gautam Das Modi,” BJP believes it was deliberate and was seeking Khera’s arrest. 

“A passenger was deplaned by the police at the Delhi airport from Raipur-bound flight 6E 204. Some other passengers have also decided to deboard on their own accord. We are following the advice of the concerned authorities. The flight is delayed as of now and we regret the inconvenience caused to other passengers,” said IndiGo in a statement. 

Following this, about 50 Congress leaders and Party members staged a protest on the tarmac, refusing the flight to take off.

After he was deplaned, Khera said that he was first told that there was trouble with his baggage even as he was carrying only hand baggage. “The staff told me you can't fly. Then they said the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) will meet you. I have been waiting for a long time. There is no sign of law and order," he had said before the arrest. 

Senior Congress leader KC Venugopal tweeted, “Modi government is acting like a bunch of goons by deplaning Pawan Khera from the Delhi-Raipur flight and preventing him from joining the AICC Plenary. Using a flimsy FIR to restrict his movement and silence him is a shameful, unacceptable act. The entire party stands with Pawan ji.”

Following the release of Hindenburg Research report on January 24, the Congress party has turned aggressive in attacking Prime Minister Modi as they believe he has close ties with billionaire Gautam Adani. The US-based short-seller has accused the port-to-power conglomerate of pulling the “largest con in corporate history” by engaging in “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud” over the course of two decades. The Adanis have called the Hindenburg report “maliciously mischievous and unresearched”. 

Following the report, Adani Group shares have crashed up to 80% and the Group has lost about Rs 12 lakh crore in market capitalisation. 

Khera was on his way to Raipur for the Congress plenary. As drama escalated at terminal one of the domestic airport here, flight staff told Congress leaders there was confusion with Khera's bags. The flight was delayed.


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