Summary:

Last sentence of last paragraph reads:  "“Ashraf was going through depression and was under medication. Lack of sleep and heavy workload on previous day might have caused the above said behaviour, he adds." 


http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=66900

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:39:45 AM (IST)  
Mangalore: High Drama Mid Air – AI Inflight Crew Face up to the Challenge
 

Mangalore: High Drama Mid Air – AI Inflight Crew Face up to the Challenge
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore (SB)

Mangalore, Oct 13:
Air India, India's national carrier’s nightmarish experiences seems to see no end. In the recent past, right from the impact of economic slowdown to employees strike, the company has been going through turbulent times.

Air India's most profit making sector Dubai – Mangalore has embroiled itself in endless controversies since last few months. Latest is the erratic behaviour of a passenger aboard Air India Express flight from Dubai that arrived at the local airport on Sunday morning has brought the carrier in the news, especially among the Mangaloreans worldwide. The incident posed quite a challenge and tested the efficiency of the crew to handle pressure. 

Official Clarification
 
It was reported that passenger Mohammed Ashraf (28) from Puttur had bitten male in-flight crew. However, Chellam Prasad, area manager, Air India Express, Mangalore clarified that the said passenger did not bite any of the inflight crew, bit in fact had slapped the only male inflight crew Nayan Purohit on board. The other three inflight crew members were females”, she informed. 
 
"It was really a challenging job for these young crew members as they really struggled to control the changing behaviour of Ashraf, who seemed disturbed. Through out the incident, Nayan kept his cool and even went up to the extent of feeding the man with some food after the crew managed to tie his hands to the seat, said Chellam Prasad.

However, the most challenging and fearful situation arose when Ashraf rushed to the cabin threatening to open the entrance door of flight. It was exemplary presence of mind show by the crew members to control him at that stage and put him back to his seat, she said adding that at the stage he put the life of the entire 120 passengers at risk.

When queried as to why the flight think of an emergency landing at the nearby airport like it did few weeks back when flight to Dubai landed in Mumbai airport when couple of passengers misbehaved with cabin crew, Chellam Prasad said that Ashraf began creating problems midway and we were left with no option, but reach our destination.

Currently Ashraf from Kinnimajal Atoor in Puttur taluk is in police custody and the investigation is underway. Ashraf had gone to Dubai on a four-year visa to work as car driver there. Reportedly, he sought leave to visit home on September 18, but was mentally disturbed as the same was not granted.

Co-passengers’ Response

When Daijiworld contacted one of the co-passengers, she said that situation had turned tense inside the flight and behaviour of Ashraf was unacceptable. She praised the cabin crew for handling the situation in a polite and professional way. "Service of the cabin crew was pleasant throughout the journey", she said.

Chellam Prasad expressing gratitude to co-passengers, said that few of the co-passengers came to the rescue of the cabin crew, and helped bring situation under control. "We are really grateful to passengers on board, Madhukar, Mahale, Bhasker,  M Khan and Ramakrishna for their timely help”, she said. 
 
Reading the incident on dajiworld, few readers from Dubai have expressed surprise over the report on the behaviour of Ashraf. A reader Samad writes "Ashraf is a strong person, and has no past history of mental problem. “However he was suffering from Asthama," he adds. Another reader writes, “Ashraf was going through depression and was under medication. Lack of sleep and heavy workload on previous day might have caused the above said behaviour, he adds.