AI crew brought offender before me against my wishes, wanted him arrested: Co-passenger

The elderly female passenger on whom a man urinated in an Air India flight had told the crew to get him arrested by the airport police and not to bring him near her.

“I told them (crew members) that I wanted the man arrested immediately by the airport police. They asked me if I would like to talk to the ground staff and I told them that I most certainly would,” the co-passenger on whom the man, Shankar Mishra urinated in Air India flight from New York to Delhi, said in the FIR.

The incident occurred on November 26, 2022 and the FIR was lodged at the Indira Gandhi Airport police station on January 4.

Mishra, is the vice president of the India Chapter of an American multinational financial services company, Wells Fargo, headquartered in California.

“My clothes, shoes and bag were soaked in urine. The bag contained my passport, travel documents and currency. The flight staff refused to touch them, sprayed my bag and shoes with disinfectant, and took me to the bathroom and gave me a set of airline pyjamas and socks,” the victim stated in the FIR, while recalling the entire incident.

“The crew members also had discussions with the offender, who was sobering up by this time, and they came and told me that he wanted to apologise. I stated clearly that I did not want to interact with him or see his face, and that all I wanted was for him to be arrested on arrival. However, the crew brought the offender before me against my wishes, and we were made to sit opposite each other in the crew seats,” she said.

“I was stunned when he started crying and profusely apologising to me, begging me not to lodge a complaint against him…I told him that his actions were inexcusable, but in the face of his pleading and begging in front of me, and my own shock and trauma, I found it difficult to insist on his arrest or to press charges against him,” she said in the FIR.

“The crew did not show good judgment about how much alcohol to serve a passenger and the crew was not proactive in managing a very sensitive and traumatic situation. I had to advocate for myself throughout, waiting for long periods of time to get a response,” the woman stated in the FIR.

Meanwhile, multiple teams were looking for Mishra, a resident of Mumbai and a native of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.

On Thursday, the police had written to the concerned authorities seeking a Look Out Circular (LOC) against Mishra after he went incommunicado.

Delhi Police have booked Mishra under Sections 510 (misconduct in public by a drunken person), 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman), 294 (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 354 (intending to outrage modesty) of the Indian Penal Code as well as a section of the Aircraft Rules Act.

An Air India spokesperson on Wednesday had said that Air India has taken a very serious view of the incident, where a passenger behaved in an unacceptable and undignified manner on the New York-Delhi flight that caused extreme distress to a fellow passenger.

However, India’s aviation regulator DGCA said that the conduct of Air India in the case was unprofessional and has led to a systemic failure.

Observing that provisions related to handling of an unruly passenger onboard have not been complied with, it asked why enforcement action should not be taken against the airline executives concerned for dereliction of their regulatory obligations in the matter.

The aviation regulator has noted that the incident of passenger misbehaviour with a female co-passenger was reported to it only on January 4, despite happening on November 26.




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