Man Behind Threat Note on Delhi-bound Jet Airways Flight Arrested, May End up on No-Fly List
The flight 9W339, which took off from Mumbai at 0255 hours, landed at Ahmedabad airport at around 0345 hours. A passenger onboard said the flight was diverted to Ahmedabad citing "security reasons".
File photo of Jet Airways.
New Delhi: A Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight made an emergency landing at the Ahmedabad airport on Monday morning, after a letter warning of a hijack attempt was found in one of the toilets.
Sources said two passengers on board were interrogated by Ahmedabad Crime Branch and that one of them had been detained.
The culprit, now identified as Birju Prasad Salla, has been arrested, sources in the Ahmedabad Police told CNN-News18. They added that the accused wrote the not in Urdu with the help of Google and never expected it to be found mid-air.
According to sources, Salla previously had issues with Jet over food earlier and was bearing a grudge. He left the note as 'revenge'.
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju tweeted that the man who wrote the letter has been identified but did not reveal any details. He advised the airlines to put the miscreant on its no-fly list and said statutory criminal action would also be initiated.
I am advising the Airlines to put him on the No-Fly list immediately, in addition to other statutory criminal action.— Ashok Gajapathi Raju (@Ashok_Gajapathi) October 30, 2017
Flight 9W 339, with 115 passengers and seven crew members, landed without incident at Ahmedabad and all 122 safely "deplaned", a Jet Airways spokesperson said.
The flight had taken off from Mumbai at 2.55 am and landed at Ahmedabad airport around 3.45 am.
The flight was "diverted to Ahmedabad following declaration of an emergency as per established security procedures, due to the detection of an onboard security threat", the spokesperson said.
The threat note, accessed by CNN-News18, said: “Flight must not land, flight will be flown to PoK. If you put landing gear, you will hear people dying.”
The message was passed on to the pilot, who is believed to have pressed the hijack alert button, following which the plane made an emergency landing.
PTI correspondent Rajkumar Leishemba, who was on board, said the flight was diverted to Ahmedabad citing "security reasons".
All the passengers deplaned and screened. They were photographed and questioned by security personnel on various details, including their last overseas visit, he said.
After more than six hours at the airport here, the flight carrying the passengers took off for Delhi around 10.30 am, he said.
"Passengers were profiled, taken photographs and all personal details sought...," Leishemba said on Twitter.
The B 737-900 aircraft was parked at a remote bay, the spokesperson said in a statement. "Jet Airways is extending full cooperation to the security agencies who are investigating the matter and is not in a position to comment further at this stage," it added.
(with PTI inputs)
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