Man arrested after urinating on woman on Air India flight


Police have arrested a passenger after a woman complained that he urinated on her during a flight.

Indian police have arrested an unruly airline passenger after a complaint from a woman aboard an Air India flight from New York said he urinated on her.

Shankar Mishra was detained by police in the southern city of Bengaluru on Saturday and taken to the Indian capital, New Delhi police spokesman Suman Nalva said on Sunday.

Nalva declined to say what Mishra told investigators after his arrest.

The Times of India newspaper quoted Mishra as saying that he was drunk and could not believe what he had done.

A New Delhi court sent him to jail for 14 days while police investigate the complaint accusing Mishra of outraging a woman’s modesty during the New York-New Delhi flight. If convicted, he faces three years in prison.

Sugata Bhattacharjee, another passenger on the flight, told reporters that he saw Mishra consuming liquor excessively and that he spoke incoherently, asking him the same question several times about his family.

On Wednesday, Air India said in a statement that it had suspended a male passenger for 30 days in accordance with regulations following the Nov. 26 incident. The airline, which is owned by the Tata Group, said it had reported the matter to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s air safety watchdog, for further action.

However, the DGCA said on Thursday it had asked the airline for details of the incident, but on the face of it it appeared that Air India had failed to comply with its provisions regarding the handling of an unruly passenger on board.

On Saturday, Air India issued written notices and grounded a pilot and four cabin crew members as the incident sparked outrage on social media and among activists who said stopping Mishra for 30 days was not enough.

Air India said the crew did not call police upon landing in New Delhi, believing the two had handled the problem themselves. According to Indian media reports, Air India acted after the family of the female passenger, an elderly person, insisted that Mishra be punished.

“Air India recognizes that it could have handled these matters better, both in the air and on the ground, and is committed to taking action,” airline CEO and chief executive Campbell Wilson said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Mishra’s job as an executive in Mumbai has been terminated by his employer Wells Fargo & Company, an American multinational financial services company, the company said in a statement on Friday.

In 2017, India issued new standards banning unruly passengers from flying for a minimum of three months to more than two years, depending on the nature of the crime.

Air India reported a second incident last week, which occurred on a Dec. 6 flight from Paris to New Delhi, in which a male passenger urinated on an empty seat and another passenger’s blanket.

Air India added that the male passenger on the flight to Paris was taken into custody upon arrival in New Delhi, but was later released by federal police after reaching an agreement with the victim and issuing a written apology.

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