A 37-year-old NRI who was taking an Air India flight from London to Mumbai was detained upon arrival on Saturday for reportedly acting aggressively after being discovered smoking in the restroom. According to officials, Ratnakar Dwivedi, a management expert in the US, had to be physically held and given two injections to calm down as he attempted to unlock the emergency door of the plane and assaulted a fellow passenger.
Dwivedi was charged with an offence that was eligible for bail and given permission to depart, but he was instructed to appear in court on Monday in Andheri, where a charge sheet will be presented. His passport was taken away. The US consulate would be notified about Dwivedi on Monday, according to a Mumbai police officer.
This is the second time in a week that a passenger on an Indian carrier has been discovered smoking in the restroom. A 24-year-old lady was detained, while smoking aboard Indigo flight 6E-716 from Kolkata to Bengaluru.
According to a police officer, a blood sample was taken in order to test for intoxication. The pamphlet also stated that he was carrying a bullet, but an examination revealed that his luggage was clean.
Dwivedi informed the police that he was going to Mumbai to look into a singing career. He claimed he was training to be a rapper when the police asked him to sing.
Shilpa Mishra, senior cabin staff on Friday’s AI-130 flight, filed a complaint alleging that Dwivedi went to the bathroom and the fire alarm went off shortly after.
“On hearing the smoke alarm, I alerted the pilot and other crew members. We opened the lavatory door from outside. Dwivedi was found holding a cigarette lighter. He started hurling abuses when asked to be seated,” she stated.
The pilot, Captain Sanjay Yadav, begged the crew to warn him and then was silent for a while. but after a while stood up, went to the emergency exit of the plane, and attempted to open it. He kicked one person and yelled insults while the crew and other passengers attempted to stop him. Eventually, he was subdued and led to his seat.
“Dwivedi told the doctor that he was on medication. We inspected his bag and found no medicines. We found an e-cigarette instead,” the complainant said. “The doctor administered two injections. Despite this, he didn’t calm down and we had to fasten his arms and legs to his seat,” a crew member mentioned.
In just a few seconds, a fire on an aeroplane may quickly spread, filling the cabin with smoke and putting the lives of everyone inside in danger. A cruise aircraft would take its pilots at least 45 to 60 minutes, if not longer, to land, depending on the altitude of the aircraft and the distance to the nearest airport. As a result, smoking is absolutely forbidden on aircraft.
An Air India spokesperson stated, “The regulator has been duly informed of the incident. We are extending all cooperation in the ongoing investigations. AI follows a zero tolerance policy for any behaviour that compromises the safety and security of passengers and staff.”
AI has been strictly reporting all disorderly incidents for action after being penalised for failing to act quickly in two incidents of reportedly drunk customers urinating on another passenger or their seat.
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