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Air India passenger who urinated on woman banned for 4 months

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Shankar Mishra, the Air India passenger who allegedly urinated on a woman co-passenger on board a New York-Delhi flight in November last year, has been banned from the airline for four months.

Earlier, Air India had announced a ban of 30 days on Mishra after the incident came to light, saying an airline can only ban an unruly passenger for 30 days unilaterally — before consulting the Civil Aviation Ministry.

Sources claimed that the airline on Thursday submitted an internal report in connection with the case.

Air India earlier had said that it has reported the matter to the aviation regulator DGCA. “As a first step, Air India has banned the passenger for 30 days, the maximum it is permitted to unilaterally do so, and reported the matter to the DGCA for further action,” the airline had said.

Air India had constituted an internal committee to look into the lapses by the airline crew.

The incident occurred on November 26 last year when the drunk passenger allegedly urinated on a co-passenger, in her 70s, in an Air India flight from New York to Delhi. The lights had been dimmed after a meal. The woman complained about the matter to the crew and told them her clothes, shoes and bag were soaked in urine.

Currently, the matter lies in court and has witnessed many twists in the last few days.

Dr Sugata Bhattacharjee, the key witness in the scandal, had on November 26, 2022, made a written complaint to the crew and airline regarding the incident, calling it “a poor judgement by the Captain”.

In a handwritten complaint, Bhattacharjee narrated the events and concluded that “this is a poor judgement call by the Captain”.

He added that “I am personally bothered by the fact that Capt waited close to two hours before allotting her a fresh seat. The non-pilot crew went above and beyond their call of duty”.

Bhattacharjee said that he was in seat 8A and was woken up when co-passenger Shankar Mishra who was seat 8C fell on him.

“When the lady of 9A came to the gally area I saw she was all wet and we were shocked to realise that my co-passenger was so intoxicated that he went to next row and urinated on her,” Bhattacharjee said in the complaint.

“I was there the whole time when the two air-hostesses diligently helped her clean up, clean her clothes and sanitise her belongings and seat,” the complaint said.

The complaint by Bhattacharjee has not come in the open since now and if it was reported and sent on November 26, 2022, then there are possibilities that the incident was sought to be hushed up.

As per earlier reports, the Air India crew members’ four-page report states that there might be potential instigation by co-passenger S Bhattacharjee, who was seated on 8A, in front of the elderly woman (on 9A), and next to Shankar Mishra, the accused person, who was on 8C.

Crew members’ report stated that the complainant may have been instigated by a co-passenger and that her subsequent behaviour cast a doubt about her intent and integrity as Bhattacharjee had requested an upgrade to first class on boarding, but was turned down, according to media reports.

There is even some contradiction in the statements made by the complainant and the passenger on 9C, sitting right next to the complainant.

The crew members have stated that she came to the galley and said that she required cleaning as a co-passenger had urinated on her and her clothes were wet.

She was provided with a towel, slipper, socks, antiseptic (Savlon) and even nightwear was also given by the airline.

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