AI employees arrested for assaulting colleague in Juhu

Mumbai, Novermber, 18 : The Juhu police on Monday arrested two Air India (AI) employees for assaulting one of their colleagues at Hotel Novotel in Juhu in October. The arrested duo has been identified as Girish Tandel and RY Bankar.

"They were arrested from the AI complex, Kalina, and charged under sections 325 (grievous hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 34 (common intentions) of the Indian Penal Code. They have been granted bail by the metropolitan court," said an officer from Juhu police station.

Tandel and Bankar allegedly assaulted Pravin Gangurde, 53 on October 26. Gangurde is the general manager, administration, industrial relations and system of AI.

Two other accused, Prabhakar Koli and Kailash Bidwaan, are also wanted in the case.

On October 26, the parliamentary committee for the welfare of scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) was at the hotel to meet members of the SC/ST association of the airline. The committee was investigating allegations of submission of fake caste certificates by as many as 242 employees of the airline.

At 8.35pm that day, Gangurde went to meet the committee. "He told the committee that many senior officials, including LP Nakwah, who is the president of the association, had not submitted a caste certificate in past 15 years for verification," said the officer.

There were at least 150 members of the association who were present at the hotel at the same time. "When Gangurde went to make a presentation to them, they hit him," he added.

The security officials at the hotel intervened and took an injured Gangurde to a separate room. Later, he was admitted to Hinduja Hospital at Mahim.
According to the Delhi high court order in 2004, the National Aviation Company India Limited (NACIL) was supposed to verify caste certificates of the SC/ST employees. It was only in April that the chief vigilance officer (CVO) of AI undertook the exercise as certain influential employees in the airline tried to stall the investigation into caste certificate issue.


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