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Hindu Mahasabha functionary among 3 arrested for misbehaviour in flight

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Coimbatore : A Hindu Mahasabha functionary and two lawyers, who were allegedly drunk, were arrested today on charges of misbehaving with the crew and passengers of a Chennai-bound flight before take-off from here last night.

Subhash Swaminathan, vice president of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha’s Tamil Nadu unit, and the two lawyers, Senthilkumar and Raja of Perundhurai in Erode district, were offloaded following the fracas which started after they allegedly began taking pictures of airhostesses with phone on the Indigo flight.

All the three were today produced before a magistrate who remanded Subhash to 14 days judicial custody. However, the two lawyers were granted bail.

The accused had boarded the Indigo flight scheduled to leave for Chennai at 10.45 PM, police said. They allegedly took photographs of an airhostess, which was objected to by her.

The three passengers deleted the pictures following the crew’s “request” but when IndiGo security manager “debriefed the passengers” to maintain decorum on board in local language, “these passengers got verbally profane and threatened the airline staff,” according to the airline.

According to police, a majority of the passengers reportedly threatened to get down from the flight if the trio were allowed to travel in it.

The security staff then alerted the CISF, which off-loaded these passengers from the aircraft, Indigo said in a statement, while regretting the inconvenience to the other passengers and assuring strong action against the “violation”.

The three were taken to a police station and put under arrest after questioning. The flight was delayed by one hour due to the incident, police said.

An FIR was filed in the wee hours today against the three lawyers under IPC Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, police said.

All the three were produced before magistrate Rajavelu who granted bail to the lawyers but remanded Subhash to 14 days judicial custody.

Earlier, the magistrate, on certain technicality in the case, reserved the judgement for later after objections were raised on judicial remand of the accused.

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