Airline Let A Drunk Man Walk Away Scot-Free After He Allegedly Urinated On A Woman
The incident only came to light after the woman wrote to the owner of the airline, saying the drunk man walked to her seat, unzipped his pants, relieved himself, and continued to expose his private parts to her.
A drunk man allegedly exposed himself and urinated on an elderly woman onboard an Air India flight from New York to New Delhi.
However, the man walked free as the cabin crew did not apprehend him even after the woman complained about the incident.
The incident, which happened on 26 November, came to light this week only after the elderly woman wrote a letter to Natarajan Chandrasekaran, the chairperson of the airline's parent company, Tata Group.
"The crew was not proactive in managing a very sensitive and traumatic situation, and I had to advocate for myself throughout, waiting for long periods of time to get a response," read the letter written by the woman.
"I am distressed that the airline made no attempt to ensure my safety or comfort during this incident."
The airline has now initiated an investigation, reported The Times of India this week.
In her letter, the woman claimed that the drunken man walked to her seat in the business class section once the lights were dimmed after lunch
"Shortly after lunch was served and the lights were switched off, ...another passenger walked to my seat, completely inebriated. He unzipped his pants, relieved himself, and continued to expose me to his private parts," read the letter written by the woman, as carried in The Times of India report.
"After urinating, the man continued to stand there, exposing himself and moved only after a co-passengers asked him to leave," the woman wrote, adding that she informed the cabin crew about the incident.
"My clothes, shoes, and bag were completely soaked in urine. The stewardess followed me to the seat, verified that it smelled of urine, and sprayed disinfectant on my bag and shoes."
The letter stated that the crew then handed the woman a set of pyjamas and disposable slippers to change into and asked her to sit on a crew seat for an hour before being told to return to her own seat
The woman alleged that though there are several vacant seats in the business class, the Air India crew initially asked her to go to her original seat which was "reeking of urine", as per the report.
She was given another seat two hours later, where she sat for the remainder of the flight.
"Clearly, the crew did not feel that taking care of a distressed passenger was a priority. At the end of the flight, the staff told me they would get me a wheelchair to ensure that I cleared customs as early as possible. However, the wheelchair deposited me at a waiting area, where I waited for 30 minutes, and nobody came to get me. I finally had to clear customs on my own and collect the luggage by myself — all in Air India pyjamas and socks," the woman wrote in her letter to the Tata Group chairperson.
Following the woman's letter to their boss, Air India on Wednesday, 4 January, said that it has filed a police report about the incident
The airline also said that it has imposed a 30-day flying ban on the drunk man and has set up an internal panel to investigate whether there were lapses on part of the crew in addressing the situation.
Air India, however, did not specify when the 30-day ban came into effect.
The regulator body of civil aviation in India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has sought a report from the airline on the incident, according to a report in Outlook.
Meanwhile, the drunk man has since been identified by police as a businessman from Mumbai, India. He is said to be in his fifties.
Authorities are conducting raids to apprehend the man, identified as Shekhar Mishra.
A probe has been registered under Section 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), and 354 (intending to outrage modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.