Air India urine row: Mishra changed his looks, shaved beard to avoid arrest

The accused clean shaved to conceal his identity and avoid arrest.

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By: TNI Team | New Delhi
Updated: 07 January, 2023 1:45 pm IST
Shankar Mishra is accused of urinating on a woman on US-Delhi flight in November last year.

Corporate executive Shankar Mishra became a familiar face as hundreds of channels flashed his images on TV and ridiculed him for urinating on an elderly woman on a US-Delhi flight in November last year.

Mishra sensed that his arrest was imminent after the Delhi Police registered an FIR against him on January 4. To avoid custody, he kept changing his locations as the police launched a manhunt and issued a lookout circular (LOC) against him.

Mishra shaved his beard to change his looks in order to conceal his identity. His photos clicked in November show him sporting beard and moustache. However, in a photo released by the Delhi Police shows him a clean-shaven man.

He was arrested by the Delhi Police from Bengaluru last night.

Mishra was booked under sections 354 (molestation), 354 (A), 509 (insulting a woman’s modesty), 510 (misconduct in public by a drunken person), 294 (using obscene words) of the IPC and section 23 of the Aircraft Act for peeing on the woman in the business class of Air India flight on November 26 last year.

Police had issued a lookout circular (LOC) against the accused so that he could not fly out of the country.

On Friday, he was an employee of American financial services company Wells Fargo sacked Mishra, calling the allegations against him “deeply disturbing”.

In her complaint, the woman said that crew members refused to allocate another seat after the incident and instead asked her to sit on the soiled seat, which was “reeking of urine”.

Narrating her ordeal, the complainant said, “Shortly after lunch was served and the lights were switched off, a male business class passenger seated in 8A walked to my seat, completely inebriated. He unzipped his pants, urinated on me, and kept standing there until the person sitting next to me tapped him and told him to go back to his seat, at which point he staggered back to his seat.”

ALSO READ: Wells Fargo sacks employee Shankar Mishra for urinating on Air India co-passenger

“I immediately got up to notify the stewardess of what had happened. My clothes, shoes and bag were soaked in urine. The bag contained my passport, travel documents and currency. The flight staff refused to touch them, sprayed my bag and shoes with disinfectant, and took me to the bathroom and gave me a set of airline pyjamas and socks,” she alleged.

Demanding immediate arrest of the accused, she said, “I asked the staff for a change of seat, but was told that no other seats were available. However, another business class passenger who had witnessed my plight and was advocating for me pointed out that there were seats available in first class. The flight crew told me that the pilot had vetoed giving me a seat in first class.”

Calling the conduct of crew members “deeply unprofessional”, she said that she was made to negotiate and confront the perpetrator.

“Not only was the Air India crew deeply unprofessional, but there are also a number of failures worth pointing out. First, the crew did not show good judgment about how much alcohol to serve a passenger. Second, 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,” she alleged.

India’s air regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a notice to Tata Group’s Air India, asking why action should not be taken against some officials for dereliction of duty during the incident.

As per the DGCA, prima facie, it emerged that provisions related to handling the Mumbai resident were not complied with.

The airline has announced a 30-day travel ban on the man and constituted an internal investigation to find whether there were lapses in handling the situation by the crew.

According to reports, the accused is the vice president of the Indian unit of a US-based multinational financial services company.

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