Mum­bai man who trig­gered hi­jack scare on Jet plane gets a life term

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent cor­re­spon­[email protected]­

Ahmed­abad: Mum­bai-based jewellery trader Birju Salla be­came the first man to be con­victed un­der the amended anti-hi­jack­ing law, with a spe­cial NIA court in Ahmed­abad award­ing him life im­pris­on­ment and fin­ing him Rs 5 crore on Tues­day for spark­ing a hi­jack scare in 2017.

On Oc­to­ber 30, 2017, Salla had left a note on a Delhi-to­mum­bai Jet Air­ways flight say­ing there were hi­jack­ers and ex­plo­sives on­board.

The note, writ­ten in English and Urdu, was left in a tis­sue dis­penser in the toi­let of the plane’s busi­ness class sec­tion, where a ste­wardess found it. Flight 9W339, car­ry­ing over 100 pas­sen­gers, then made an emer­gency land­ing at the Ahmed­abad air­port.

In his verdict, Judge KM Dave di­rected that of the to­tal fine, Rs 1 lakh be paid to the pi­lot and co-pi­lot each, Rs 50,000 to each of the crew, and Rs 25,000 to each pas­sen­ger for their or­deal.

The Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency’s probe found that Salla, the first per­son to be put on the ‘Na­tional No Fly List’, had typed the note, which ended with ‘Al­lah is Great’, on his lap­top and used Google to trans­late it to Urdu.

He con­fessed he had done it in the hope that the threat would lead to the air­line’s Delhi op­er­a­tions be­ing closed, lead­ing one of the airhostess­es with the air­line whom he was obsessed with, to re­turn to Mum­bai and seek his help.

She had al­legedly spurned his ear­lier ad­vances.

Birju Salla

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