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Indian passengers to be charged over air rage incident on Bangkok-Kolkata flight

Police in India reported that two of the men involved in the air rage incident on a flight from Bangkok to Kolkata will be charged.

Bidhannagar City Police, in Kolkata, drew up a First Information Report and slapped an Indian Penal Code charge on the men of assault, wrongful restraint, and criminal intimidation, after a complaint by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, reported The Times of India.

Footage of the air rage incident showing an altercation between several Indian passengers on the Thai Smile Airways flight went viral on social media shortly after midnight on December 27. The initial fracas involved two men but then more passengers joined the argument and are seen hitting one man who attempts to defend himself.

The fight broke out because one passenger refused to follow flight safety instructions.

The plane was taxiing at Suvarnabhumi Airport when a passenger sitting in 37C reclined his seat.

A member of the cabin crew told the man to put his seat in the upright right position but the passenger said he had a “backache.” He added…

“I fly often, I know what to do.”

The man’s refusal to follow the safety rules caused consternation between other passengers and an argument ensued resulting in the Bolshoi man being assaulted.

The Times of India revealed that the airline submitted a report to the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation and explained that seats must be in an upright position so as not to hinder passengers in the row behind should an emergency situation arise.

Bidhannagar City Police reported the men involved will be called for questioning soon.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Footage of an air rage incident emerged yesterday of two Indian passengers swapping punches on a flight from Bangkok to Kolkata in India.

A passenger recorded footage of the fracas and uploaded it to social media where it quickly went viral. It captures two men swapping insults, then punches after boarding a Thai Smile Airways flight that was set to take off from Bangkok and arrive in Kolkata on Tuesday afternoon.

Co-passengers and cabin crew can be heard yelling at the men to stop fighting.

One of the men can be heard saying “shanti se baath” (sit down quietly), while the other says, “hath neeche kar” (put your hand down). Within seconds, the verbal spat turns physical with one man aggressively slapping the other.

The aggressor can be seen removing his glasses before striking the other man several times. The aggressor’s friends then join the spat and slap the man a number of times as he tries to defend himself.

A crew member tries to intervene while another tells the men to stop via an announcement on the microphone.

“Stop right now, stop,” one crew member can be heard saying on the microphone.

Several other passengers on the flight can be heard telling the men to stop fighting.

Incidents of air rage are far from isolated.

Earlier this month a disruptive Phuket-bound passenger on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul was thrown off the aircraft and arrested after the flight diverted to Pakistan’s Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.

After the passenger was taken into custody by local law enforcement, the flight continued to Phuket.

Turkish Airlines flight TK-172 on an Airbus A330 diverted to Karachi three hours into the flight near the Iran, Pakistan border. The diversion was not an emergency but was a precautionary measure taken by the flight crew.

Thai Smile Airways has not made an official statement on the air rage incident and there is no update on the action taken against the offenders.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia, mostly in China. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.