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Man who urinated on woman in Air India flight ‘last traced to Bengaluru, in touch with lawyers’

Lawyers of accused Shankar Mishra claim there is no eyewitness & all statements are merely hearsay evidence. Wells Fargo sacks Mumbai resident from post of vice-president.

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New Delhi: With the police hot on his heels after he was identified as the culprit in the urinating scandal onboard an Air India flight, Shankar Mishra was sacked Friday by the finance company where he worked as a vice-president.

Sources in the Delhi Police said that Mishra was absconding and that his last location was found to be Bengaluru. Police teams have been deployed both in Bengaluru and Mumbai to nab him. Additionally, a look out circular was also issued against Mishra.

“Mishra is based in Mumbai. His parents also live in Mumbai. He lives there with his wife and a two-year-old child. All efforts are on to nab him,” one of the sources said.

American financial services company Wells Fargo issued a statement announcing that it had sacked Mishra. “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,” it said in a statement.

The financial company also informed that it was cooperating with law enforcement in the matter.

An FIR has been lodged against Mishra under Sections 294 (obscene act), 354 (outraging a woman’s modesty), 509 (act intended to insult woman’s modesty), 510 (misconduct in public under influence of alcohol) of Indian Penal Code as well as relevant sections of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

According to the police, Mishra was allegedly inebriated and urinated on an elderly woman — soaking her belongings, including her clothes, shoes, and passport — after he couldn’t find the washroom. The episode took place 26 November when the flight was on its way from New York to New Delhi.

Also Read: ‘Unruly’ behaviour on NY-Delhi flight one-off incident? Not exactly, but FIRs filed negligible

Lawyers claim no eyewitness 

Though his whereabouts remain unknown, Mishra is in touch with his lawyers as seen from the statement issued on his behalf where they claimed the complainant had “condoned” him.

“WhatsApp messages between the accused and the lady clearly show that the accused had got the clothes and bags cleaned on 28 November and the same were delivered on the 30th November. The lady in her message has clearly condoned the alleged act and has displayed no intention to lodge a complaint,” Mishra’s lawyers Ishani Sharma and Akshat Bajpai said.

“The lady’s persisting grievance was only with respect to the adequate compensation being paid by the Airline for which she has raised subsequent complaints on December 20, 2022. The accused paid the compensation as agreed between the parties on PayTM on November 28th but after almost a month on December 19 her daughter returned the money back.”

The legal team also went on to claim that the statements of the Air India cabin crew to an inquiry committee show “there is no eyewitness to the incident and all the statements are merely hearsay evidence”.

“The  settlement reached between the parties has also been affirmed in the statements so submitted by the cabin crew. The accused has full faith in the judicial system of the country and will cooperate with the investigation process,” the statement said.

Purported WhatsApp chats between the woman and Mishra show that he had sent her money and sent her clothes and shoes for cleaning. But they also reveal the money was soon returned to Mishra, who was also asked to not communicate with the elderly woman further.

“She is very traumatized by her experience on the Air India flight. We are very upset, outraged and angry and we don’t want your money,” the purported message said.

ThePrint in possession of the chats.

Disappointed with the airline’s handling of the episode, the woman who is in her 70s had written to Tata Group chairman N. Chandrasekaran, narrating her “traumatic experience”.

Air India then imposed a 30-day flying ban on Mishra and set up an internal panel to probe whether there were lapses on part of the crew.

“Legal Manager, Air India, on 28 December reported an incident to IGI police which took place onboard flight AI 102, from New York to Delhi on 26 November. On the flight, an inebriated male passenger urinated on a woman passenger. More details were sought from Air India and the woman. The lady conveyed that her original complaint to Air India be treated as her formal complaint,” a source in the Delhi Police had earlier told ThePrint.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

Also Read: Air India incident shows Indians are world’s worst passengers. Fine them, arrest them


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