English News


Air India urination case victim forced to sit on stinking seat despite vacant seats in plane

Photo for representation

In the Air India urination case, a co-passenger of the victim has revealed that after the episode, the woman was not given a seat in the first-class category despite it being almost vacant. Although the seats were vacant, the crew refused to accommodate the victim as they said only the pilot was authorised to allot the seat and he was resting.

Dr Sugata Bhattacharjee, who was the co-passenger of the victim, had personally requested the crew to provide her with a seat in a separate category after the post-lunch incident.

Bhattacharjee, who was in 8th row in Air India’s business class during the November 26 incident aboard Air India’s New York to Delhi flight, said the crew ignored his request for a first-class class seat and left her to travel in the same stinking seat.

The crew told Bhattacharjee that the pilot in-charge of assigning seats was resting.

Shankar Mishra, who urinated on the elderly woman in an intoxicated condition was arrested by the Delhi Police from Bengaluru on late January 6 night after absconding for several days.

Talking to ANI, Bhattacharjee said, “I personally requested in writing to give her a seat in the first class, but I was told by the crew on board that they were not authorised. And said they will ask Pilot-in-command. Later, the crew told me that the pilot’s shift is over, and he is resting.”

Bhattacharjee said he lodged a written complaint with the Air India crew on board and demanded the complaint book which was not made available and instead he was given two pieces of paper to write his complaint after the dreadful incident.

“I am sure that my written complaint was not reported to the AI management,” he added.

“A crime happened, it was their job to report it to the appropriate authorities,” Bhattacharjee told ANI.

Bhattacharjee also talked about the incident in detail and expressed his ‘unhappiness’ at the way it was handled.

“The incident happened after lunch was served. He (the accused) had 4 drinks and then was asking me the same questions multiple times. I finished lunch, and told the flight attendant to keep an eye on him.”

And then the situation unfolded, Bhattacharjee described.

“The lady (victim) was quite decent. Two junior Air hostesses cleaned her up. I went to the senior stewardess and asked them to give her another seat, she said that she can’t do that as they had to take permission from the Captain,” he added.

The accused from Mumbai was sent to police custody on Saturday.

AIR India CEO Campbell Wilson on Saturday said that four cabin crew and one pilot who operated the New York-Delhi flight have been de-rostered.

He also acknowledged that the airline could have handled the recent cases of unruly passengers onboard its flight better, both in the air and on the ground.