Wells Fargo sacks Indian executive who peed on woman on Air India flight
Saturday, 7 January 2023 (01:21 IST)
The American banking behemoth Wells Fargo said it had fired an executive in India, Shankar Mishra, after he allgedly urinated on a fellow passenger aboard an Air India flight.
Mishra, formerly the vice president of operations for Wells Fargo in India, lost his job after he allegedly urinated on a 72-year-old woman. She wrote to the airline to complain about the alleged incident, which occurred last November.
In a statement, Wells Fargo said that it "holds employees to the highest standards of professional and personal behavior and we find these allegations deeply disturbing."
"This individual has been terminated from Wells Fargo," the statement said.
Wells Fargo also noted that the bank is "cooperating with law enforcement and ask that any additional inquiries be directed to them."
Flying while drunk
Mishra, of Mumbai, was reportedly drunk at the time of his flight from New York to Delhi on November 26 when the alleged incident took place.
New Delhi police said Mishra was still at large though they have been in contact with his family.
However, Mishra released a statement through an attorney stating that he had already reached a settlement with the woman he allegedly urinated on, from Karnataka, and paid her compensation.
Victim reports distress
India Today reported that Mishra's statement, released through his lawyer, said in part, "The WhatsApp messages between the accused and the lady clearly show that the accused had got the clothes and bags cleaned on November 28 and the same were delivered on November 30."
The statement added that the woman returned the compensation money Mishra had paid on December 19 through her daughter and then made a follow up complaint on December 20 of last year to the airline.
In her complaint, she said that she had told the crew to have him arrested by the airport police and that he should stay far from her. Instead, she alleges, "the crew brought the offender before me against my wishes, and we were made to sit opposite each other in the crew seats," The India Times reported.
The woman said that when Mishra sobered up, he apologized and began crying. He allegedly begged her not to lodge any complaints.
She reportedly found it difficult to insist on his arrest or press charges after he expressed remorse for his actions.
Air India was recently acquired by Tata Group after decades under state control. The airline has faced heavy criticism for how it has handled the woman's complaint.
The aviation regulatory body in India has criticized the airline for not reporting the incident.
In a statement, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said, "The conduct of the concerned airline appears to be unprofessional and has led to a systemic failure."