PANAJI: The Goa State Commission for Persons with Disabilities has issued a notice to the Dabolim airport director after a 62-year-old British woman alleged that two airport staffers extorted Rs 4,000 from her to provide wheelchair service to her.
An employee of the ground handling agency was suspended following the incident, which took place on January 29, while the airport entry permits of two others were confiscated, the airport director said on Tuesday.
The commission, a quasi-judicial body, asked the director to submit an action taken report by February 13.
Katherine Frances Wolfe, who has mobility issues, had filed a complaint with the airport director, Goa’s director general of police and the commission, narrating her ordeal of January 29 when she was heading back to London.
When she arrived at the Dabolim airport, the manager assigned two men to assist her with her wheelchair and baggage said the complaint, filed by one Mikhil Vasant on her behalf.
But the two stopped Wolfe at a random spot in the airport and threatened to leave her there if she didn’t pay up. She was then made to cough up Rs 4,000 for the wheelchair service, the complaint said.
The commission stated in its notice that the act is clearly in violation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
It said the state should ensure “non-discrimination and decent treatment of people with disabilities and women with disabilities, respectively”.
Airport Director SVT Dhanamjaya Rao, in a media statement on Tuesday, said an employee of the Trolley Retrieving Agency was suspended while the airport entry permit of two more staffers was confiscated after the incident.
“The matter has been taken seriously by AAI Goa, and it has investigated the incident. Wheelchairs, assistance to a person with reduced mobility and trolley retrieval service are free of cost,” he added.