"This individual has been terminated from Wells Fargo."
Banking giant Wells Fargo has fired Shankar Mishra after he was accused of urinating on a woman whilst on an Air India flight.
The flight was from New York City and Delhi.
The incident involving Mishra – vice president of the bank’s India operations – occurred on November 26, 2022, in the business class cabin of the flight.
In a statement, Wells Fargo said:
“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.”
It was reported that Mishra was drunk at the time. In addition to his dismissal, he has been arrested.
Through his lawyers, Mishra claimed that the 72-year-old woman “condoned” the action and that he has compensated her as well as paid for her clothes and bags to be cleaned.
The lawyers said they have WhatsApp messages between Mishra and the woman to back up their claim.
But they said the woman has since returned the compensation and made a report to Air India.
The woman alleged that the incident occurred after the crew had served lunch and dimmed the lights. Mishra is said to have stumbled towards her, unzipped his trousers and urinated on her.
He only moved after another passenger told him to return to his seat.
The woman 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 gave her a set of pyjamas and slippers.
She claimed Mishra began crying and asking her not to file a complaint.
In an interview, Mishra’s father, Shyam Mishra, said his son had not slept for 72 hours prior to the incident.
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.
“I don’t think he would have done this. The woman is 72 years old, she is like a mother to him.”
Following the incident, Air India was criticised. The Directorate of General Civil Aviation 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:
“I was stunned when he started crying and profusely apologising 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.
“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.”