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India has taken up the matter of a Chinese airline’s misbehavior with Indian passengers with the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office and the Pudong airport authorities. An Indian passenger, Satnam Singh Chahal, filed a complaint with the Indian government, alleging that the staff of China Eastern Airlines misbehaved with Indians at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The Chinese airline has denied the allegation.
Chahal, executive director of the North American Punjabi Association, wrote to Indian External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj, claiming he saw the ground staff insulting Indians at the exit gate for wheelchair passengers. The matter has been taken up with the related office of the Chinese foreign ministry after it was brought to the notice of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, sources told PTI.
Airlines Denies Allegations
China Eastern Airlines denied the allegation, stating that the airport CCTV footage didn’t show anything that could confirm the news reports, according to Xinhua news agency.
“Instead, the airlines employees offered meticulous service,” the airline said in a statement, adding that it was dedicated to providing quality flight service to its passengers from all over the world.
Affected by India-China Standoff
Chahal, who was travelling by a China Eastern Airlines flight from New Delhi to San Francisco on August 6, had a stopover at Shanghai Pudong where he claims to have witnessed the incident. He said he was shouted down by the official when he complained to the concerned airline.
“I noticed from their body language that they were frustrated from the rising border tension between India and China,” Chahal wrote in his letter to Swaraj. The standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam in Sikkim has been ongoing for nearly two months, and has been a constant source of tension between the two nations, with both refusing to step back.
Request for Advisory
In the light of the incident, Chahal also requested Swaraj to issue an advisory for Indian transit travelers to avoid travelling through China in the current situation.
In July, with the ongoing India-China standoff, China issued a safety advisory to its nationals in India to take precautions to avoid being hit by anti-China sentiment in India.