Srinagar: Four Kashmir scholars, who had to attend a conference in Turkey, were denied boarding passes by Aeroflot airlines on Thursday morning.
Mohammad Iqbal Rather, Showkat Dar, Mohammad Dawood Sofi, who study at Aligarh Muslim University, and Mehraj-ud-din and Bilal Ahmad of Kashmir University, were scheduled to attend a nine-day summer school conference on the Concept of Social Justice in Islam in Konya Turkey beginning Saturday.
“My flight was scheduled at 4.30am on Thursday but airline’s staff at the Indira Gandhi International Airport did not issue boarding passes to us,” said Iqbal. Despite their insistence, the scholars were not told why they had been denied travel.
“Each of us had spent about Rs 50000 on tickets but the airline didn’t repay our money either,” Iqbal told Kashmir Reader over phone.
He said they have emailed a complaint with the Aeroflot headquarters in Russia and the HRD ministry in India.
“The airlines has assured us of an investigation into the issue,” he said, adding the “behavior of the staff was unusual”.
“I can’t explain how we were treated by them. We panicked and left the place after facing the humiliation. We had reached on time and had completed online check-in,” he added.
KU’s Islamic Studies department scholar Mehraj said when he learnt about the treatment meted out to his counterparts from Aligarh and Bilal, he didn’t book the ticket.
“Other scholars from India did not face the same ordeal and they went to the conference smoothly,” Mehraj said.