Another rowdy Indian passenger hits crew mid-air, forces flight to return to Delhi


NEW DELHI – In another incident involving unruly passenger, a 25-year-old Indian man was detained for allegedly misbehaving with and assaulting crew on Air India flight

The incident took place on Monday on a London-bound flight shortly after the plane took off from the Delhi International Airport.

The passenger hails from Kapurthala in Punjab and was travelling with his parents when he tried to forcefully open the emergency exit of the aircraft, endangering the lives of passengers. When the police officers tried to stop the youngster, he allegedly misbehaved and started hurling abuses.

“The man was seen at the door and was trying to open it. The cabin supervisor and her colleague tried to stop him but he threatened to hit them and used unparliamentary language. He then became violent and hit the cabin supervisor on her neck… she fell to the floor. He also pulled her hair and hit the other crew member on her face. He was restrained with the help of other staff and passengers. The flight had to come back to Delhi. The complaint of the cabin supervisor has been received and legal action is being taken,” said DCP (IGI Airport) Devesh Mahla.

The flight returned after some time for deboarding the man and his family. Reportedly, the man said he was feeling agitated and upset though a case has been registered against him under IPC sections relating to causing hurt, act endangering personal safety of others, assault with intent to outrage woman’s modesty and word/gesture/act insulting modesty of woman and under the Aircraft Rules, 1937. 

The incident left two of the cabin crew members injured who were sent to Medanta Medical Centre near IGI Airport while the flight later took off with the other passengers; investigations are underway whether the passenger was drunk or not.

“The pilot in command decided to return to Delhi and the passenger was handed over to the security personnel upon landing. Safety, security and dignity of all on board is important to us at Air India. We are providing all possible support to the affected crew members. We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers and have rescheduled the flight to depart for London this afternoon,” Air India said in a statement Monday.

The incidents relating to rowdy passengers are on the rise in India. Earlier in March, an Indian official was identified as having urinated on a fellow passenger onboard New York-Delhi flight.

The accused named Aryan Vohra was caught urinating on a US passenger mid-air on an American Airlines flight.

As per the details, the 21-year-old who is studying in the US, was under influence of alcohol. The accused was on flight to New Delhi and was arrested after landing at the Indira Gandhi airport.

The incident comes months after another event involving a passenger from India named Shankar Mishra who allegedly urinated on a 70-year-old woman co-passenger in an inebriated condition in business class of an Air India New York-New Delhi flight. 

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Air India for not reporting the matter within 12 hours of the incident in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure.

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