Hi­jacker on board Jet Air­ways


AMum­bai busi­ness­man was re­cently ar­rested for car­ry­ing out a hi­jack threat on a Mum­bai-Delhi Jet Air­ways flight. The flight was di­verted to Ahmed­abad, where it made an emer­gency land­ing. The busi­ness­man, iden­ti­fied as Birju Kishore Salla, who was also on the flight, left a note in Urdu and English in the lava­tory of Jet flight 9W-339 warn­ing that there would be a ‘blast’ if the air­craft landed in Delhi and claimed there were 12 hi­jack­ers on board with ex­plo­sives in the cargo hold.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors said the ac­cused, a reg­u­lar busi­ness class flyer, wanted to frame an airhost­ess, who had ear­lier spurned his ad­vances. It was not clear if she was on the same flight. Of­fi­cials said the flight, car­ry­ing 115 pas­sen­gers and seven crew mem­bers, was put on hi­jack alert after one of the crew mem­bers found the type­writ­ten note at around 3.30 a.m.

The plane then made an emer­gency land­ing at the near­est air­port, Ahmed­abad, a Bu­reau of Civil Avi­a­tion Se­cu­rity of­fi­cial said. The Aero­drome Com­mit­tee com­pris­ing po­lice and CISF of­fi­cials was as­sem­bled. The air­craft was taken to an iso­la­tion bay and thor­oughly searched. Na­tional Se­cu­rity Guard (NSG) com­man­dos were alerted and helped in the anti-hi­jack drill.

PTI cor­re­spon­dent Ra­jku­mar Leishemba, who was on board, said the pas­sen­gers were told the flight was di­verted due to “se­cu­rity rea­sons”. All pas­sen­gers were de­planed and screened. They were pho­tographed and ques­tioned by se­cu­rity per­son­nel on var­i­ous de­tails, in­clud­ing their last over­seas visit, he said. After the search, the air­craft was al­lowed to fly to Delhi after a de­lay of seven hours. On the re­quest of the air­line, two mar­shals were put on the flight. “The air­craft landed at 3.48 a.m. and was thor­oughly checked be­fore be­ing cleared for de­par­ture to Delhi at 10.46 a.m.,” Cen­tral In­dus­trial Se­cu­rity Force (CISF) spokesper­son He­men­dra Singh said.

Salla, was de­tained after crew re­ported that he had been the only per­son to use the re­stroom be­fore the threat note was dis­cov­ered. On in­ter­ro­ga­tion, he con­fessed to hav­ing placed the note. Since he did not know how to write in Urdu, Salla used Google to trans­late it. He then took a print­out of the let­ter and dropped it into the air­craft wash­room when the flight was in mid-air.

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