Food And Travel

Female Passenger Accuses AirAsia Staff Of Sexual Harassment, Airlines Retort For 'Disruptive' Behaviour

| November 11 , 2017 , 12:28 IST

A 28-year-old woman who travelled through AirAsia Airlines from Ranchi to Bengaluru on November 3 has filed a complaint against 3 staff members alleging them of sexual harassment.

Sanmit Karandikar, Kaizad Suntoke and Jitin Ravindran have been booked for the charges of wrongful restraint, sexual harassment, and gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.

The airlines has filed a complaint against the woman few days back with the police and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for being a "disruptive passenger". Though the woman filed the case four days after the incident took place.

A resident of New BEL Road in Central Bengaluru boarded the flight from Ranchi at 9:15 PM and reached Bengaluru around midnight. Throughout the journey, she claims to have been harassed by the staff members.

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She claims that when the flight halted at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, she complaint about the dirty tiolet to a senior staff member, who instead of helping her, abused her verbally when she was using her mobile before the take-off.

The woman said, "I found the aircraft washroom dirty and I informed the cabin crew. The steward, Sanmit Karandikar, yelled at me and said they had already cleaned it and ordered me to return to my seat. Upset with his behaviour, I tried calling my sister just before the flight was to take off, as I wanted to inform her about the incident. Then Sanmit abused me."

The passenger was then dragged onto the runway at Bengaluru upon arrival and was detailed until she apologised for her behaviour. The woman also tried to confront the crew member in the flight about his rude behaviour but instead was insulted.

The Airlines stated, "We filed a complaint with the airport police and reported the matter to the DGCA the next day, following all laid-down civil aviation requirement by the regulator."

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The statement further added, "When the aircraft was taxiing for takeoff from the Ranchi airport, the senior cabin crew operating the flight, following the pre-takeoff safety and security procedures, noticed the lady passenger... speaking on the phone and requested her to switch off her mobile phone as this is against prescribed safety procedures."

The airlines complaint, "The passenger resorted to verbal abuse against the senior cabin crew, who then managed to calm the passenger down and resume his duties. However, the passenger continued to be abusive."

According to the latest rules framed the DGCA in September, a flying ban of three months to a lifetime can be imposed on the passenger for an act misbehaviour onboard a flight. Upon the matter reported by the pilot-in-command of an aeroplane, the matter is investigated within 30 days of allegation.