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‘Stop the Rumour’: Airline Staff Alleges Harassment Over COVID-19

An airline staff in video alleged that people in her housing society have harassed her for spreading coronavirus.

Updated
India
2 min read
A day after the airline’s statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the crew of Air India.
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Amid the breakout of coronavirus that has infected almost 500 people and led to 10 deaths in India, airline staff and officials in India have alleged harassment by neighbours and people in their apartment complex.

In a video that surfaced recently, a staff member of a leading airline appealed to the people to stop spreading rumours and instead educate themselves and others about COVID-19.

The airline staff in the video alleged that people in her housing society have harassed her for ‘spreading coronavirus’.

The woman in the video can be heard saying “being in the service industry, we people are facing a lot. I’m living in such a place that is full of hypocrites, including the local police.”

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She also stated that her mother is being harassed by her neighbours constantly, claiming that “they are not letting her buy groceries saying that ‘your daughter has corona and you are infected too, you will spread corona to all of us’”.

‘Aviation Crew Being Ostracised’: AI Press Release

While ending the video she said that the aviation crew is being checked in and out and all precautionary measures are also being taken, requesting people to “stop spreading rumours that we have coronavirus”.

On Sunday, 22 March, Air India stated that vigilante resident welfare associations (RWAs) and neighbours were ostracising and calling the police on its crew members, who fly abroad as part of their duty.

“It is alarming to note that in many localities, vigilante Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and neighbours have started ostracising the crew, obstructing them from performing their duty or even calling in the police, simply because the crew travelled abroad in the course of their duty.”
Air India Press Release

Earlier today, on Tuesday, 24 March Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the ministry has requested authorities to give protection to its crew and their families, who are being harassed by neighbours.

Kolkata Police Steps In

After the video went viral, Kolkata Police responded to Shukla’s tweet saying they had spoken to the IndiGo employee and that the local police has been asked to lend her all possible help.

Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma responded to the tweet, saying his force will take legal action against all those who were “discriminating against such heroes”. He has asked for a report on the matter, he added.

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