Viral video of bodybuilder Haryana Bobby Kataria smoking on SpiceJet plane calls airport security into question

A man wearing pajamas with the name ‘Bobby Kataria’ printed on one side was seen smoking on a SpiceJet plane

Photo: Twitter

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Indian Aircraft Rules, 1937, prohibits smoking inside an aircraft.
  • A man, identified as Bobby Kataria from Haryana, was seen lighting a cigarette and smoking it on a SpiceJet plane.
  • Uttarakhand MLA Umesh Kumar has questioned the ‘state of security’ at airports after the video exploded.

Extract of Bobby Kataria smoking on SpiceJet plane infuriates Twitter

Smoking in flight is prohibited in India under the Aviation Rules of 1937. Even so, if a passenger out of ignorance or innocence carries cigarettes with them, there is little chance that a passenger will be able to pass these combustible substances beyond security control.
However, a man managed to light a cigarette in what appears to be a SpiceJet plane and was seen smoking it on board. A viral TikTok-esque video that has emerged on Twitter, shows the man, identified as Bobby Kataria from Gurugram, Haryana, in the act.

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Balvinder Kataria aka Bobby who belongs to Basai village in Gurgaon district is seen casually lounging around, hogging a whole row of seats as he lies on his back. It is not known, however, who filmed the video.

The clip infuriated social media, with many questioning the state of security that enabled this breach of aviation code.

Sharing the video on the microblogging site, Independent MP for Khanpur constituency in Uttarakhand, Umesh Kumar, wrote, “This is the state of airport security in this country. @AmitShah g @AmitShah ji this person openly flouts the law of the land. How wrong is this security exploit.

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Ever since the previously deleted video of Bobby allegedly smoking on a SpiceJet plane exploded, netizens have called on Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Union Civil Aviation Minister, to take action against the offender.

Due to the reappearance of the old video online, the Civil Aviation Security Bureau clarified to ANI that he traveled from Dubai to New Delhi on January 23 this year.

Disorderly conduct or any act likely to endanger the safety of an aircraft is considered an offense serious enough to carry a prison term of up to two years or a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh, or both. Smoking could also result in a lifetime ban for passengers.

It comes after the airline reported a series of incidents related to technical malfunctions and security issues in the space of a few weeks.

Last month, a SpiceJet flight bound for Jabalpur returned to Delhi after the crew noticed smoke at an altitude of 5,000ft. Other issues included a cracked windshield, door warnings, fuel gauge malfunction, and a bird strike.

A survey of 21,000 respondents by LocalCircles found that at least 44% avoided flying with SpiceJet, the country’s third largest airline, due to safety concerns.

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