A man on board a Mumbai-Guwahati IndiGo flight was handed over to the Guwahati police on arrival after a complaint was received against him from another passenger for alleged sexual harassment, the airliner said on Sunday.
A woman had accused that the man lifted the armrest and groped her while the cabin lights were dimmed on the late-night flight.
Following the incident, the airline said that a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the man and he was handed over to the police in Guwahati. The IndiGo flight 6E-5319 departed from Mumbai at around 9 pm and reached the destination around 15 minutes post- midnight. This is the fourth case of sexual harassment reported in the last two months, involving passengers on-board flights.
Speaking to Times of India, the woman said that she was seated on an aisle seat in the flight and had fallen asleep after the cabin lights were dimmed. She had lowered the armrests before dozing off but woke up to find the armrest up and her male co-passenger leaning close to her.
She said, “I found it weird because I distinctly remembered putting the hand down. Half-asleep, I didn’t think too much about it, put the armrest down again and went back to sleep”. On waking up after some time, she found the male passenger’s hands on her but since his eyes were shut she said that she did not want to jump to conclusions. Thereby, she waited while keeping his eyes half-closed and pretending to be asleep.
On finding the co-passenger groping her and touching her inappropriately in a couple of minutes, the woman said that she wanted to scream but couldn’t as she ‘froze’. While narrating the incident, she said that she gathered courage and when the man tried to grope her again she pulled his hand away and screamed. She then turned the seat lights on and called the cabin crew. The woman added, “He started apologising for what he did, while I was shouting, crying and narrating the incident".