Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight hijack scare: Passenger detained for placing threat note; accused a habitual offender

A Delhi-bound Jet Airways flight from Mumbai was on Monday diverted to the airport in Ahmedabad after a note was found on board threatening the presence of hijackers and explosives on the aircraft. The person responsible for the 'letter' has been detained by the city police.

The Boeing 737-900 flight 9W339, which took off from Mumbai at 2.55 am, landed at Ahmedabad airport at around 3.45 am.

Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight hijack scare: Passenger detained for placing threat note; accused a habitual offender

File image of a Jet Airways aircraft. PTI

The passenger, identified as Birju Salla, has apparently confessed to putting the threatening note in the plane, NDTV reported.  Salla, a jeweler hailing from Rajula town in Gujarat's Amreli district, was taken into custody based on suspicion after the plane landed in Ahmedabad, the police said.

He was reportedly the last person to use the washroom, before the threatening note was discovered by the cabin crew staff.  Salla, who now lives in Mumbai, had in the past too done such a mischief with the airline out of some grudge, the police official said. 

A report by NDTV also said that Salla was a frequent flier and had earlier boarded the flight with a cockroach, which he then planted in his meal to show the airline in bad light.  According to CNN-News18, an air hostess onboard had found a note in the bathroom there were hijackers and explosives on the aircraft.

As per protocol, the air hostess alerted the pilot who in turn alerted the Air Traffic Control (ATC) and made an emergency landing in Ahmedabad and parked at a remote bay in the airport. The note warned the pilot not to land at Delhi and instead fly the aircraft to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).

It further claimed there were 12 hijackers and explosives on the flight. The note, written in Arabic and English ended with "Allah is Great", reported ANI.   All the 115 passengers and seven crew members were deplaned and a thorough security check was conducted of the entire aircraft. Following the incident, Union civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju tweeted that the person responsible for the security threat should be put on the No-Fly list immediately.

Flight 9W 339, which had taken off from Mumbai at 2.55 am with 115 passengers and seven crew members, landed without incident at Ahmedabad around 3.45 am. The Boeing 737-900 plane was parked at a remote bay and all 122 safely deplaned, a Jet Airways spokesperson said.

Giving details of what had happened, Ahmedabad Airport Director Manoj Gangal said the flight was allowed to make an emergency landing on the pilot's request.

The bomb disposal squad and the local police conducted a thorough search but found no explosive substance, said Sardarnagar police station inspector HB Zala.

The Jet Airways statement said the flight was diverted following "declaration of an emergency as per established security procedures, due to the detection of an onboard security threat".

"We are extending full cooperation to the security agencies who are investigating the matter and are not in a position to comment further at this stage," it said.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Oct 30, 2017 18:24:02 IST

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