Flier’s ‘hi­jack’ call sends se­cu­rity teams into a tizzy

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Man­ish K Pathak man­ish.pathak@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A call by a flier at the Mum­bai air­port to the po­lice con­trol room ask­ing for help as he and his co-pas­sen­gers were stuck in­side an Air In­dia flight in a “hi­jack­like” sit­u­a­tion had lo­cal po­lice sta­tions, the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Guard (NSG) and the air­port’s anti-hi­jack cell all geared up on Tues­day.

It was no hi­jack though, just a weary pas­sen­ger stuck in­side the flight for five hours with no food or wa­ter, try­ing to get some at­ten­tion.

“Mai Air In­dia ke AI 130 flight me hoon. Mu­jhe our ya­han bahut saare lo­gon ko hi­jack kar liya gaya ho aisa sit­u­a­tion mein rakha hein.. Please help. (I am in Air In­dia flight AI 130. We have been in­side the flight as if we have been hi­jacked),” were the caller’s words to the po­lice con­trol room around 8am on Tues­day.

Soon af­ter, the con­trol room made a se­ries of calls alert­ing se­cu­rity agen­cies to brace them­selves to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion. “As soon as we re­ceived the call, all po­lice per­son­nel in neigh­bour­ing po­lice sta­tions were asked to get ready to han­dle any kind of sit­u­a­tion,” said a se­nior crime branch of­fi­cer. “We had even rushed to the spot with arms and other equip­ment.”

The of­fi­cer said the flight landed at the air­port from Lon­don around 3am and was on its way to Ahmed­abad, but had de­vel­oped a tech­ni­cal prob­lem, de­lay­ing it.

The Air In­dia spokesper­son was un­avail­able for a com­ment when HT con­tacted the air­line to find out about the na­ture of the snag.

I LLUSTRATION: SIDDHANT JUMDE

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