A disruption by two unruly passengers forced a Kozhikode-bound Indigo flight from Dubai to land in Mumbai on Thursday morning, the airline said.
“IndiGo confirms the diversion of its flight 6E 89 (Dubai-Calicut) to Mumbai this morning on grounds of unruly behavior on board,” a spokesperson said.
But unconfirmed reports suggested the passenger shouted slogans in support of the Islamic State terrorist group and was handed over to the Central Industrial Security Force in Mumbai by others on board.
“As of now we can’t say anything on IS slogan. After completing the probe we will comment,” said deputy commissioner of police Virendra Mishra.
The Indigo spokesperson said a passenger seated on 5D and accompanied by his brother suddenly started misbehaving with the crew.
“He jumped on the forward cart (used for food and on-board merchandise) and sat on it. The crew immediately informed the captain and lead crew, who requested the passenger to step down from the cart and he obliged,” said the spokesperson.
“This passenger after stepping down from the cart, suddenly got violent and started physically abusing the other co-passenger.”
The captain immediately informed the Air Traffic control (ATC) and ground security staff and the flight made a precautionary landing at Mumbai at 9.40am.
Despite long-pending demands from passengers’ forums and the airlines’ industry to have stringent action against unruly passengers, the civil aviation ministry is yet to introduce such measures.
Recently, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) permitted domestic airlines’ crew to carry plastic handcuffs on board to contain such passengers. From assaulting the crew to smoking in the lavatory, to breaking armrests, cases of passenger violence on board are not stray incidents.
Mishra said two passengers were detained for questioning.