The family of Mursalin Shaikh, the 27-year-old mechanic from Ghatkopar, whose violent mid-air antics gave the crew and passengers on board a Mumbai-Delhi Indigo flight a huge scare on Wednesday, were shocked to hear that he was on the flight in the first place.
“My son left home in the morning saying he would return after offering namaaz. But, he had not returned even till late evening. Suddenly, we heard from neighbours that he had been caught by the police in Delhi,” said Muzammil, Shaikh’s 60-year-old mother, admitting that her son suffered from a mental disorder.
Shaikh’s family had no idea he was going to Delhi. “He left at 11.30 saying he would return after prayers. We tried to call him around 3pm when he did not return but his phone was switched off,” Muzammil said.
Shaikh’s family said it turned out that after leaving the house, he had approached a friend and borrowed Rs. 10,000 from him. When Shaikh’s family called up the friend to ask if they knew where he was, the friend told them about the money.
“My other sons have left for Delhi with Mursalin’s medicines and medical papers to get him released,” Muzammil said.
Dr Sajid Ali Khan, consultant psychiatrist at Kohinoor hospital in Kurla, where Shaikh is undergoing treatment for his mental disorder, said he suffered from bipolar disorder. “He has been my patient for three years. People suffering from this disorder can grow violent over petty issues and become overtly extroverted or can slip into depression suddenly during a lapse,” Dr Khan said.
Shaikh’s family and neighbours, meanwhile, are eagerly awaiting his return to Mumbai, promising that they will not allow him leave home alone again.