Home / News / India /  'Air India fell short, response should have been swifter': Tata Chairman on 'pee-gate'

Air India urination incident: In a first, since the New York-Delhi Air India flight urinating incidence surfaced, Tata Sons Chairperson N Chandrasekaran has said that the airline's response should have been ‘much swifter’ in handling an unruly passenger. Referring to the indecent and harrowing event that took place on an Air India Delhi-bound flight from New York, Chandrasekaran said that the crew should have handled the situation in a much more swift manner. 

In a statement, which came days after the aviation regulator DGCA pulled up the Tata Group-owned full service carrier, Chandrasekaran also said that "we fell short of addressing this situation the way we should have."

"The incident on Air India flight AI102 on November 26, 2022, has been a matter of personal anguish to me and my colleagues at Air India. Air India's response should have been much swifter. We fell short of addressing this situation the way it should have been," Chandrasekaran said in the statement on Sunday.

"The Tata group and Air India stand by the safety and well-being of our passengers with full conviction. We will review and repair every process to prevent or address any incidents of such unruly nature," he added in the statement.

The statement comes on a day when co-passenger to the septuagenarian who was on the receiving end of the harassment, said that the crew on board of AI 102 on 26 November had not handled the situation properly. 

Sugata Bhattacharjee, a US-based doctor of audiology, had on Sunday spoken to news agency ANI and said that the crew had been requested to move the 70 year-old woman to a first class seat after her business class seat was soiled by the inebriated Shankar Mishra, the crew refused quoting that there were no vaacnt seats. 

“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," ANI quoted Bhattacharjee as saying.

“The only option for her was to move to 1st class as business class was full, what they (flight crew) did was clean her seat and kept blankets on the seat smelling of urine. They could have given Shankar Mishra's seat but they didn't do anything to pacify the distressed passenger," the co-passenger said.

Bhattacharjee has claimed that there were 4 vacant seats in first class and despite that the woman was made to return to her soiled seat which also was stinking of urine. The doctor revealed that after the accused urinated on the old lady, the flight crew cleaned her seat, and kept blankets on seat smelling of urine, rather than offering her Shankar Mishra's seat.

Shankar Mishra, the Vice President of the India chapter of American financial service company Wells Fargo, is a resident of Mumbai. He had fled to Bangalore and was hiding at his sister's place after the Delhi police registered an FIR against him . The Bangalore Police teamed up with Delhi police and had arrested the miscreant

Mishra has been sent to 14 day judicial custody. The metropolitan magistrate said the bail application will be considered on 11 January.

In a shocking incident, an inebriated man allegedly urinated on a female co-passenger, a senior citizen in her seventies, in the business class of Air India New York-New Delhi flight on 26 November last year.

(With PTI inputs)



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