The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Airline fears FIR ire, finds city unsafe

Ranchi, Aug. 28: MDLR Airlines is willing to withdraw from the city, but not lodge an FIR against transport minister Anosh Ekka.

Sources said MDLR has submitted only a written complaint to the Doranda police.

When contacted, airline president Koustav M. Dhar said from Delhi that the airline chief security officer, a retired DGP of Andhra Pradesh, had called on the DGP of Jharkhand for an amicable solution.

Ekka and his personal and official staff have been accused of vandalising the airline counter and injuring a ticketing personnel after having missed his flight due to late arrival yesterday.

“What is the use of continuing when our employees are not safe. Imagine, one of our employees was injured,” Dhar said.

“We are there to do business, not indulge in a war with anyone. We were planning to introduce new flights here, but now we will cancel them. We are certainly rethinking on continuing from here,” he added.

MDLR station manager K.M. Mahesh said their head office was investigating the matter. He added that the woman who was witness to the ruckus yesterday had not reported for work since.

Doranda police station officer-in-charge Deepak Ambastha said he was at the airport till 9.30pm yesterday to lodge an FIR. “The airline staff said they will lodge the report today. I have called Mahesh over 10 times, but he has been disconnecting it,” said Ambastha, adding: “We cannot take action on our own unless an FIR is filed.”

Sources in the airport said neither the CISF nor the AAI could do anything unless the airlines complained to them. “The only witness to the attack, the girl employee, too, seems reluctant to lodge a complaint,” the sources added.

Had the CISF or the AAI arrested the minister or his men, they could have been charged of illegal detention because the witness was not ready to speak against the minister, said an airport official.

“The girl believes no action can be taken against a minister. Daughter of a senior state government official, the girl returned home within half an hour of the attack,” he added.

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