A vice president at banking giant Wells Fargo has been fired after he was accused of urinating on a 72-year-old woman while travelling between New York City and Mumbai.
The incident involving Shankar Mishra occurred on November 26 in the business class cabin of an Air India flight. Mishra’s lawyers claimed the senior citizen ‘condoned’ the act, according to multiple reports in India.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, Wells Fargo said the company ‘holds employees to the highest standards of professional and personal behaviour and we find these allegations deeply disturbing.’
The press release went on to say that Mishra, 34, a vice president of operations in India, had been ‘terminated.’
Multiple reports in India say that Mishra, a resident of Mumbai, was allegedly drunk at the time of the incident. Police in New Delhi have yet to question Mishra about the incident because they have not been able to locate him.
Through his lawyers, Mishra alleges that the woman ‘condoned’ the action and that he has compensated her as well as paid for her clothes and bags to be cleaned.
Mishra’s lawyers say that they have WhatsApp messages between the banking exec and the woman to back up their allegation. However, the lawyers said that the woman has since returned the compensation and made a report to Air India.
In the woman’s complaint, the 72-year-old said that the incident occurred after the crew had served lunch and dimmed the lights. She accuses Mishra, who formerly worked at Citi Bank, of stumbling from a few seats back towards her, unzipping his pants and urinating on her.
He only stopped when the passenger sitting beside her told him to, the woman wrote.
She said that she asked the cabin crew to arrange to have Mishra arrested upon landing. Instead, she was forced to sit near him in crew seats for the duration of the flight with the captain forbidding her from sitting in first class, where there were empty seats.
The crew did give her a set of pyjamas and footwear and sprayed disinfectant on her belongings.
She alleges that Mishra began sobbing and asking her not to file a complaint.
During an interview with India Today TV, Mishra’s father, Shyam Mishra, said that his son had not slept for 72 hours prior to the urination.
He said: ‘This is a totally false case. My son was travelling from the US. He had not slept for 72 hours. He might have taken a drink on the flight and slept. What happened after that even he does not know. It’s very difficult to prove.’
The elder Mishra added: ‘I don’t think he would have done this. The woman is 72 years old, she is like a mother to him.’ He went on to allege that there were no eyewitnesses to the incident.
He also said that he has been unable to contact his son.
Mishra is facing charges of committing an obscene act in a public place, assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty, word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman and misconduct in public of a drunken person.
Following the incident, Air India came in for criticism from the Directorate of General Civil Aviation which said in a statement: ‘The conduct of the concerned airline appears to be unprofessional and has led to a systemic failure.’
The victim’s statement to Air India read, via NDTV: ‘I was stunned when he started crying and profusely apologizing to me, begging me not to lodge a complaint against him because he is a family man and did not want his wife and child to be affected by this incident.’
She continued: ‘In my already distraught state, I was further disoriented by being made to confront and negotiate with the perpetrator of the horrific incident at close quarters. I told him his actions were inexcusable, but in the face of his pleading and begging in front of me, and my own shock and trauma, I found it difficult to insist on his arrest or to press charges against him.’
Bizarrely, an almost identical incident occurred on an Air India flight between Paris and New Delhi on December 6. A drunk male passenger is accused of urinating on a female passenger. The victim did not press charges after receiving a written apology, according to NDTV.