AI striking pilots now question Arvind Jadhav

April 30th, 2011 - 1:39 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Apr 30 (ANI): With the Air India pilots’ strike entering its fourth day, the pilots today alleged that they had proof against the national carrier’s Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Jadhav of being involved in a land scam.

The striking pilots have alleged that Jadhav surrendered government land at throwaway rates to private players like Jet Airways, Qatar Airways and Oman Air.

Around 42 flights have been cancelled from New Delhi today as the striking pilots refused to return to work ignoring the stern warning of sacking by the management and the Delhi High Court’s decision to initiate contempt proceedings against them.

The management of the national carrier had asked the 850 striking pilots to resume work by 5 p.m. on Friday.

The management had also warned the pilots that if they did not comply with the ultimatum, then Essential Service Maintenance Act (ESMA) could be invoked against them.

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) had on Friday said that the agitating pilots are willing to go to jail.

“We are more than willing to go jail. Nearly 31,000 Air India employees will also be ready to court arrest because we are serious about saving the national carrier from ruin,” ICPA General Secretary Captain Rishabh Kapoor said.

The Delhi High Court had earlier on Friday refused to stay Air India management order derecognising ICPA.

The court, however, said that derecognition will not come in the way of any dialogue between the management and the striking pilot’s body.

Refusing to accede to ICPA’s plea to revoke its derecognition, Justice S Murlidhar issued notice to Air India Ltd and sought its response on the plea by the pilots’ body by July 16.

The management of the airline had said on Thursday it will not surrender to the pilots’ pressure and added that no domestic flight bookings will be accepted till May 3.

The ICPA, which is heading the agitation, is demanding a higher fixed component in the salary package, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into alleged mismanagement, which has led to losses of over Rs 16,000 crore and removal of Arvind Jadhav holding him responsible for the financial mess. (ANI)

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