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New twist in Air India Peegate: Cabin crew statement contradicts complainant’s claims

As per the statement by Air India crew members, the complainant was provoked by a co-passenger and her behaviour during the incident "cast doubt on her integrity and intent".

A four-page report of Air India crew members has come to light in contrast to what the complainant said in the infamous pee-gate incident. As per the statement, the complainant was provoked by a co-passenger and her behaviour during the incident “cast doubt on her integrity and intent”.

In a shocking incident, it was reported that an inebriated passenger allegedly urinated on a 72-year-old lady who was flying in business class on Air India’s NYC to Delhi flight AI 102. The incident took place on November 26, 2022. However, it only came to light recently after AI issued a formal statement on the matter.

As per the Moneycontrol report, an AI crew member said that a passenger identified as S Bhattacharjee had requested to upgrade his business class seat to first class. However, the request was denied. He was sitting on 8A in front of the complainant, who was sitting on 9A. The accused, Shankar Mishra, was sitting on 8C.

Notably, the statement made by the passenger sitting on 9C also contradicts the statement made by the complainant.

The crew member said that the complainant came to them in the galley and alleged that a co-passenger urinated on her, and she needed help cleaning. The crew members alleged she started taking off her clothes in the galley. The crew member immediately swung into action and provided towels, antiseptic (savlon), slippers, and socks and helped her change into the airline’s nightwear. They requested she change in the toilet instead of in the galley.

While the passenger was getting cleaned up, the crew members cleaned and sanitized her seat, the area around it, her shoes and the bags. The complainant requested that her shoes should be dry cleaned, but the crew members told her it was not possible while on the flight. She also demanded compensation for the soiled belongings and said she was considering a police complaint. Reportedly, Bhattacharjee promised her to arrange a reporter on landing.

The crew member said that the complainant was informed that upon landing, all possible assistance would be given to her, and a wheelchair would be waiting for her. Notably, the crew member said she did not ask for another seat, but they moved her to 12C. She thanked the crew and fell asleep.

Later, the accused person met the complainant and apologized for his behaviour. They worked out a compromise, and he agreed to pay for dry cleaning and would get the clean clothes delivered to her. He also agreed to pay $200 as compensation.

In the report, the crew said that a couple of hours before the landing, the complainant again complained to the crew. She claimed that the crew did not properly clean her shoes and bags this time. The crew noted that she got agitated only after talking to Bhattacharjee and changed her position on the matter. Earlier, he had asked for an upgrade to first class. After the incident, he refused to sit next to Mishra and asked for an upgrade for both the victim and himself.

In a statement, Bhattacharjee denied the allegations and said, “All the allegations in the Air India internal report are untrue; I did not ask for an upgrade; I submitted a written complaint to the crew before landing; and I stood up for a lady in need.”

The passenger sitting on 9C also told a different story. Neither Moneycontrol nor OpIndia could verify the report and statements.

Furthermore, it was said in the report that the complainant was provided with a wheelchair on priority at arrival. However, she claimed that she did not get one on the landing. However, when an employee told her that she saw the complainant sitting in a wheelchair, she changed her stance and said she left the wheelchair as she was “in a hurry”.

While the complainant claimed that the accused backed out from the promise of compensation, the accused showed proof of payment.

The pee-gate that shocked the nation

A complaint was filed by an elderly lady against Mishra, alleging he urinated on her during the flight. A case was filed against Mishra under relative sections, and the police arrested him. Later the court sent him to judicial custody. He was placed on the no-fly list for 30 days, and the entire crew was suspended as they allegedly failed to address the complainant appropriately and adequately. During the court hearing, Mishra’s lawyer claimed that he did not commit the crime and the complainant’s seat was inaccessible to him. Furthermore, he claimed that the complainant might have soiled herself and blamed Mishra to save herself from embarrassment.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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