Akhilesh denies assaulting Kingfisher staff

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) Minister of State for Agriculture Akhilesh Prasad Singh today strongly denied the charge that he assaulted a staff of Kingfisher Airlines when he was denied permission to board a Patna-Kolkata flight, and described the action of the airline as ''irresponsible''.

''There was no incident of any abuse or assault as alleged by the staff of the Airline. The Minister intends to take up the matter regarding the irresponsible action of the Airline with the Civil Aviation Ministry,'' an offical statement said.

According to the statement, the Minister was scheduled to depart from Patna Airport for Kolkata by the Kingfisher flight No IT 4580 at 2030 hrs yesterday.

Check-in had been completed at 1930 hrs and all security clearances obtained.

The Minister arrived at the Airport at 2015 hrs whereupon he was informed that his ticket stood cancelled on the instruction of the travel agent. However, no such instruction had been issued by the Minister. The duty manager was requested to issue the boarding pass.

The Minister was taken to the VIP lounge at the airport. After a while the duty manager told the Minister that he would not be issuing the Boarding Pass, the statement said.

''The duty manager was not willing to listen to any amount of reasoning. The Minister immediately apprised the Joint Secretary (Civil Aviation) about the unauthorised cancellation and the refusal of the manager to issue a Boarding Pass.

''The Joint Secretary also tried to reason with the duty manager who refused to listen. The Minister told the duty manager that he would complain about the conduct and behaviour of the staff of Kingfisher Airline to the Civil Aviation Ministry on his return to Delhi.

''On being denied permission to board the aircraft, the Minister left Patna by train for Kolkata,'' the statement added.

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