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Civil Aviation Ministry looking into Punjab CM’s alleged deplaning in Frankfurt from Delhi-bound Lufthansa flight 

A file photo of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann (Image courtesy: Twitter/@BhagwantMann)

The Union Civil Aviation Ministry, on a request made to it, has decided to look into the issue of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann being deplaned from a Delhi-bound Lufthansa flight in Frankfurt as he was “drunk” and found unfit to travel.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said, “This was international soil. We will have to make sure we verify the facts. It is up to Lufthansa to provide data. I’ll certainly, based on the request sent to me, look into it.”

Leader of Opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Partap Singh Bajwa (Congress) yesterday wrote to Scindia, seeking “a probe into the deplaning of the Punjab CM at Frankfurt as the matter was serious.”

An exclusive story on the IndiaNarrative.com on Sunday created a storm in political circles in Punjab and elsewhere with the opposition Congress, Akali Dal, and the BJP firing salvos at AAP demanding an apology from Mann.

Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal addressed a heavily-attended press conference on Tuesday claiming that he had been informed by a leading hotelier in Rajasthan and another industrialist, both of whom were co-passengers on flight number LH 760, that Bhagwant Mann was drunk when he boarded the flight and was deplaned.

“Unsteady on his feet he suddenly sat on the first empty seat that he saw in the front row … An air hostess requested him to move to his own seat which was further down. He got up with difficulty and walked zig-zag in the aisle colliding with the seats on either side.”

The air hostess, according to Sukhbir, informed the captain of the plane that she found Mann heavily drunk. The captain then decided to deplane the CM which delayed the flight further by over one and a half hours as the baggage of Mann’s entourage had to be offloaded.

Congress MLA Sukhpal Khaira in a video message on his Facebook page termed Mann’s conduct as “shameful,” which brought a bad name to the Sikhs and the state.

The Lufthansa authorities in reply to a question on Twitter said that their rules did not permit disclosing anything about individual passengers.

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A retired flight manager of an international airline when contacted told indianarrative.com that airline rules do not allow sharing information with a third party.

However, Lufthansa was duty-bound to give reasons for deplaning a passenger if it was asked officially by the government concerned.

Two emails were written by this reporter to Lufthansa asking “whether the Delhi-bound flight number LH 760 was delayed due to the deplaning of some passengers who were unfit to travel”? But, the airline did not reply.

On the other hand, AAP spokesman Malwinder Singh Kang quoted a tweet by Lufthansa airline that the plane was delayed due to the “delay in the inbound flight and plane change” to defend Mann.

The media mandarins of AAP remained busy since Monday feeding friendly media houses and YouTube channels with information that suited them. A narrative was being set that an attempt was being made by inimical journalists to “defame a clean man.”

Also Read: Was Punjab Chief Minister deplaned in Frankfurt from Delhi-bound Lufthansa flight?