Airports Authority of India cracked down on the three personnel allegedly responsible for harassing a wheelchair-bound British national and extorting Rs 4,000 at the Goa International Airport, Dabolim.
The action was taken after the office of the state commissioner for persons with disabilities wrote to AAI asking for an action-taken report by February 13.
Katherine Frances Wolfie, a 62-year-old with reduced mobility, was flying from Goa to London Gatwick airport with TUI airlines.
Wolfie had complained on February 4, through an acquaintance in Goa, following which AAI immediately launched an investigation.
"Two staff members of a private agency who were providing special assistance intimidated her and demanded Rs 4,000 from her, including in foreign currency," the airport authority said, adding that the matter has been taken seriously by AAI Goa and investigated the incident.
Upon Investigation it has been found that one staff loader of the Ground Handling Agency was assisting the Wolfie and two persons of the Trolley Retrieving Agency (an Agency engaged at the airport for retrieving the used trollies) were found interacting with the passenger against the norms.
The Ground Handling Agency has suspended the staff who was assisting Wolfie. Also, the Airport Entry Permit (AEP) of 2 Trolley Retrievers were confiscated by AAI Goa and informed the Agency for further action," the official said on Tuesday.
"AAI Goa strongly condemns such unlawful Acts," the authority said.
Notably, wheelchairs, PRM assistance, and trolley retrieval service at Goa airport are free of cost.
"To avert such incidents in the future, the airlines and Ground Handling Agencies have been sensitized about Assisting PRM Passengers. Also, the 'NO TIPS PLEASE' messages are being prominently displayed in the terminal building for awareness of the passengers," Goa International Airport Director S V T Dhanamjaya Rao said. (ANI)