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Air India leaves Srinagar-bound passengers to fend for themselves.

Scores of Kashmiri passengers were left to fend for themselves Wednesday at Delhi airport when Air India cancelled the flight they were booked in after they reported for checking in.The aggrieved passengers accused Air India of deceit.

“We cannot argue with them, because we are Kashmiri people and they take us for granted,” said Mohammad Shafi, a passenger booked on the cancelled flight.Shafi, and his wife had booked their tickets two weeks in Delhi for traveling back to Srinagar on February 13, but Air India cancelled the flight without informing them.

“We arrived at the Delhi airport and were preparing to leave for Srinagar, but Air India cancelled our booking at the eleventh hour and said that all the seats had been booked,” Shafi said.

“The flight operators (to Srinagar) are deceiving passengers by taking huge fares and then cancelling their flights at the last moment. They have cancelled the flight of many passengers, and have now re-scheduled it for tomorrow.”

Among the aggrieved passengers were students whose bookings were also cancelled unannounced by Air India.

“Probably they (the students) had gone for some tour to Kerala and were now returning to Srinagar, but their bookings were also cancelled. The bookings of many such passengers were also cancelled and they were left to fend for themselves.”

Following heavy snowfall intermittently over the more than a month and frequent closure of the Jammu-Srinagar highway, airfares have skyrocketed.Recently, Governor Satya Pal Malik requested Prime Minister Narender Modi during his one-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to help check the rising airfare.But nothing seems to have worked.

“We received a call from Delhi airport that some passenger delayed their boarding and missed their flight and now their flights have been rescheduled for tomorrow,” said an official associated with Air India.

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