IGI: Hi­jack scare on flight to Kan­da­har

◗ The of­fi­cials said the press­ing of ‘ hi­jack but­ton’ had pushed all agen­cies con­cerned, in­clud­ing the anti- ter­ror force Na­tional Se­cu­rity Guard ( NSG), into ac­tion

The Asian Age - - Front Page - AGE COR­RE­SPON­DENT

New Delhi: A hi­jack scare on a Kan­da­har- bound Ari­ana Air­lines flight sent se­cu­rity of­fi­cials at the Delhi air­port into tizzy on Satur­day af­ter the pi­lot ‘ mis­tak­enly’ pressed the ‘ hi­jack but­ton’ when it was taxi­ing for take- off.

A hi­jack scare on a Kan­da­har- bound flight sent se­cu­rity of­fi­cials at the Delhi in­ter­na­tional air­port into tizzy on Satur­day af­ter the pi­lot “mis­tak­enly” pressed the hi­jack but­ton when it was taxi­ing for take- off, of­fi­cials said.

The Ari­ana Afghan Air­lines plane, with nine crew mem­bers and 124 pas­sen­gers and an in­fant, took off nearly two hours later af­ter “sat­is­fac­tory” se­cu­rity checks, they said.

The of­fi­cials said the press­ing of ‘ hi­jack but­ton’ had pushed all agen­cies con­cerned, in­clud­ing the anti- ter­ror force Na­tional Se­cu­rity Guard ( NSG), into ac­tion.

NSG com­man­dos and of­fi­cials of other agen­cies swiftly re­sponded to the sit­u­a­tion and sur­rounded the air­craft, they said.

Af­ter a two- hour op­er­a­tion that cre­ated panic among the pas­sen­gers on board the air­craft, the plane was cleared for take­off, said the sources.

The Delhi- Kan­da­har FG312 flight was sched­uled to de­part at 3.30 pm.

Ac­cord­ing to se­nior of­fi­cials in the Bureau of Civil Avi­a­tion Se­cu­rity ( BCAS), the plane, while taxi­ing for take- off, re­turned to the “iso­la­tion bay” pre­sum­ably due to the press­ing of the ‘ hi­jack but­ton’ by the crew.

The air­craft was cleared for de­par­ture on con­fir­ma­tion that it was an er­ror by the cap­tain, one of the BCAS of­fi­cials said.

Be­fore the flight was al­lowed to fly out, se­condary se­cu­rity checks were car­ried out and cus­toms clear­ance of all pas­sen­gers was taken.

— BI­PLAB BAN­ER­JEE

‘ Tipu Ac­tivists burn an ef­figy of Tipu Sul­tan dur­ing a protest over the cel­e­bra­tion of Jayanti’ at Jan­tar Man­tar in New Delhi Satur­day.

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