New Delhi: It was not a smooth flying experience for Union minister Kiren Rijiju and Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh as they had to face pilot and passengers ire after they boarded the Leh-Delhi flight, which got delayed after they arrived late in the airport.
Sources said when Rijiju and Singh reached the tarmac of the Leh airport on June 24, an agitated Rohan Saharan, the pilot of AI 446, came down from the aircraft through the ladder and confronted them saying because of their late arrival, the flight was held up and not allowed to fly.
Saharan shouted at Rijiju and Singh saying because of VIPs like them common people were suffering.
Singh shouted back and told the pilot that he should behave properly and that he (Dy CM) would lodge a complaint against Saharan with the Air India and the Civil Aviation Ministry for his "misbehaviour".
When Rijiju and Singh finally entered the aircraft, they again had to encounter some angry passengers who were unhappy over the delay of the flight for nearly an hour.
Here also, Singh explained to the passengers that they had no knowledge about the advancing of the flight and that was reason for their delayed arrival.
However, the Union minister kept mum on both the occasions. "Rijiju did not react to the pilot's shouting, or to the passengers' angry reaction and kept mum," a source said.
While Rijiju today apologised for the inconvenience caused the passengers, Singh remained unapologetic and instead targeted the pilot and other AI staff members, alleging misbehaviour.
The incident occurred on June 24 when Rijiju, Minister of State for Home, his assistant and Singh were to travel from Leh to Delhi. To accommodate them, three members of the family of an IFS officer, including a child, were disallowed from boarding the flight AI-446, according to reports. This also delayed the flight.