Shankar Mishra, who was arrested for urinating on a woman on an Air India New York-Delhi flight last year, was “incoherent” after drinking too much and kept asking the same question over and over again, a fellow passenger told NDTV.
Sugata Bhattacharya, a US-based doctor who sat next to Shankar Mishra in business class on the November 26 flight, said he flagged his drunken state to the crew.
“When he was asking me the same question multiple times, I realized he might be incoherent. I flagged it to the crew, and he just laughed,” Dr Bhattacharya told NDTV.
Shankar Mishra – fired by Wells Fargo after the incident – told Dr Bhattacharya that he was drinking because he was working long days and hadn’t slept well. “He told me he drank to get a good night’s sleep,” says Dr. Bhattacharya.
Shortly after this conversation, Shankar Mishra approached a 70-year-old woman and urinated on her. When the flight landed in Delhi, Mishra left Air India without any action. A day later, the woman wrote to the chairman of the Air India Group about the horrific incident. Air India filed a police complaint only on January 4, claiming it did not approach the police as both parties had “settled the matter”.
Mishra was arrested from Bengaluru on Friday, six weeks after his heinous act.
Dr. Bhattacharya said he also complained to the airline, but nothing happened.
“It was my moral duty to stand up for a fellow passenger, and that’s why I wrote a two-page complaint. And it went nowhere,” he said.
Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran admitted that Air India’s response should have been quicker. “We failed to deal with this situation the way we should have dealt with it,” Mr Chandrasekaran said in a statement on Sunday.
Mishra has been remanded in judicial custody for a fortnight.