- "Air Vistara has also banned me now," tweeted Kunal Kamra
- "Neither am I sorry nor am I surprised," Mr Kamra wrote
- He was banned by 4 other airlines for heckling a journalist on a flight
Comedian Kunal Kamra on Friday tweeted that he has been banned by air carrier Vistara, more than two months after he was grounded by four airlines for heckling a TV channel editor on an IndiGo flight.
"Air vistara has also banned me now till the 27th April, following orders like they show... at a time where no one can fly, all I want to say is, neither am I sorry nor am I surprised, nor am I suffering...," Mr Kamra wrote.
Air vistara has also banned me now till the 27th April, following orders like they show... at a time where no one can fly, all I want to say is, neither am I sorry nor am I surprised, nor am I suffering... pic.twitter.com/LSYHDkNzDD— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) March 13, 2020
The stand-up comic was banned by all domestic airlines except Vistara and AirAsia in late January following a directive by a union minister that triggered a huge controversy.
Mr Kamra, a Mumbai-based comedian known for his sharply critical views against the government and government-friendly media networks, was banned by IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir after he posted a video of his encounter with Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV. In the video, he is seen throwing questions at Mr Goswami, who doesn't respond.
The airline ban triggered criticism from social media users who recalled how a reporters working for Mr Goswami have frequently heckled opposition leaders in public places and on flights.
"Offensive behaviour designed to provoke & create disturbance inside an aircraft is absolutely unacceptable and endangers safety of air travellers. We are left with no option but to advise other airlines to impose similar restrictions on the person concerned," Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had posted on Twitter.
The ban by airlines is being investigated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation or DGCA to see whether the companies violated rules. The pilot of the IndiGo flight too had written a sharp letter criticising the ban and saying he had not been consulted.
Mr Kamra has sent a legal notice to IndiGo, demanding a public apology, Rs 25 lakh for "causing mental pain and agony" and revocation of its six-month ban.
He had also thanked Vistara last month for letting him fly. "My airport look all thanks to Vistara following due process," he tweeted with the hashtag "#Lovevistara".
The ban was also criticised by many, who pointed out the "hypocrisy" in banning Mr Kamra while BJP MP Pragya Thakur, who faces charges in an ongoing terror case, was let off without any action after she had held up a flight last year and argued with crew and passengers after refusing to vacate a seat next to the emergency exit despite being on a wheelchair as required under aviation rules.