New Delhi: Mumbai man Shankar Mishra, who urinated on an elderly woman while drunk on an Air India flight in November, was arrested late on Friday night by the Delhi police from Bengaluru and was brought back to the national capital, sources said. He was on the run, and a lookout notice or airport alert was put out to trace him.
The Delhi police had deployed a team in Karnataka’s Bengaluru to catch Shankar Mishra, after getting some ‘concrete’ leads on his whereabouts.
Though he switched off his phone, he was using his social media accounts to communicate with his friends, which gave an opening to the police to zero in on him, top police sources said.
34-year-old Mishra had, at least in one place, used his credit card too, sources said.
On a New York-Delhi Air India flight on November 26, Shankar Mishra allegedly unzipped his pants and urinated on an elderly woman in the business class. He later begged the woman not to report him to the police, saying it would impact his wife and child.
Air India filed a police complaint only this week and said as there was “no further flare-up or confrontation”, and “respecting the perceived wishes of the female passenger, the crew elected not to summon law enforcement upon landing. It banned Mishra from flying for 30 days, triggering outrage by social media users who said it was not enough.
The complainant had told the crew she did not want to see Mishra’s face and was “stunned” when the offender was brought before her and “started crying and profusely apologising”, according to her complaint, which is part of the FIR (First Information Report). The woman also accused the crew of being “deeply unprofessional” and said they were not proactive in managing a “very sensitive and traumatic situation”.
Shankar Mishra’s lawyers claimed he had exchanged messages with the woman who filed the complaint, and even paid her ₹ 15,000 as compensation, and got her belongings cleaned. The woman’s daughter had reportedly returned the money after a month, saying they couldn’t accept it.
American financial services company Wells Fargo, Mishra’s employer, has also terminated him, saying the allegations were “deeply disturbing”. He worked as vice-president of the India chapter of the multinational firm, which is headquartered in California.
“Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards of professional and personal behaviour and we find these allegations deeply disturbing. This individual has been terminated from Wells Fargo,” the company said in a statement last evening.
Air India officials and the crew of the flight have been asked to explain their handling of the incident after widespread shock and disgust.
The aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has now warned of strict action if airline staff fail to act against passengers who are unruly or behave inappropriately.
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