Urination row: Police to question co-passengers

A senior police officer said that Mishra is continuously changing his statement and misleading the investigation officer
Accused Shankar Mishra
Accused Shankar MishraANI

NEW DELHI: Shankar Mishra, who had allegedly urinated on a co-passenger onboard an Air India flight between New York and Delhi, is not cooperating with police in the investigation and changing his statement frequently, said a Delhi Police officer on Saturday.

A senior police officer said that Mishra is continuously changing his statement and misleading the investigation officer.

"To corroborate his statement, we will record the statements of the victim woman, crew members and co-passengers to get more details into the case," he said.

He further said that the woman passenger was sitting behind the accused when he took an about-turn and urinated on a woman and the passenger sitting next to the woman protested and shouted at him. "We are also trying to contact the passenger who was sitting next to the woman to get more details of in the case," he said.

Notably, the Delhi Police has so far recorded the statements of three crew members of Air India today in connection with the case. Mishra had allegedly urinated on a 70-year-old woman in an intoxicated condition in business class of an Air India flight on November 26 last year.

The accused was arrested by the Delhi Police today from Bengaluru and brought to Delhi, police said. Delhi Police had registered an FIR against him on January 4 on a complaint given by the woman to Air India.

The police registered an FIR under sections 354, 509, and 510 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 23 of the Indian Aircraft Act. Both the accused and the victim are from outside Delhi.

US-based financial services company Wells Fargo on Friday also terminated its employee Shankar 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. We are cooperating with law enforcement and ask that any additional inquiries be directed to them," the company said in a statement. The company's statement came after Delhi Police reached out to Wells Fargo to cooperate with investigations against accused Mishra.

Meanwhile, after facing backlash, Air India has issued show cause notices to four of its cabin crew and one pilot and de-rostered them pending investigations.

On Friday, Air India chief executive officer (CEO) Campbell Wilson also asked the airline staff to report any instances of "any improper behaviour on board to authorities at the earliest even if the matter appears to be resolved".

In a letter to Air India employees, the CEO stated that timely action is necessary against those who don't follow the flight rules. Campbell said, "This week has, 'regrettably', been dominated by media headlines of which you are no doubt familiar. The repulsion felt by the affected passenger is totally understandable and we share her distress."

He reiterated the importance of reporting untoward incidents onboard flights to authorities, even if the crew believes it has been resolved.

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