Jet Airways hijack scare: Jeweller arrested under anti-hijacking act

WION Web Team
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India Published: Oct 31, 2017, 12:05 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Police said that the arrest was the first since the Anti-Hijacking Act came into force in 2017 and that they would hand over the case to the National Investigating Agency NIA if the central government wanted

The jeweller, who allegedly planted a note about hijackers and a bomb in the toilet of a Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight, was on Tuesday arrested under the stringent Anti-Hijacking Act, a senior official said.

Police said that the arrest was the first since the Anti-Hijacking Act came into force in 2017 and that they would hand over the case to the National Investigating Agency (NIA) if the central government wanted.

A police official told PTI that the accused, Salla, was a multi-millionaire jeweller from Mumbai who wanted the airlines to be shut so that his girlfriend, who worked at its Delhi-based office could leave her job and stay with him in Mumbai.

"Salla is a multi-millionaire jeweller, who has a flat in a posh locality of Mumbai. He is originally from Dedan village of Amreli district," the police official said.

"The accused had planted the note with an intention to close down Jet Airways so that his girlfriend working in the Delhi-based office of the airline would leave her job and come to stay with him in Mumbai," Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) JK Bhatt told the press.

He said the accused had earlier complained of finding a cockroach in the food served on Jet Airways flight.

"We are investigating if he is in contact with any other anti-social groups. We have not found any other offence against him," Bhatt said.

The Anti-Hijacking Act, which replaces the 1982 vintage law, can lead to maximum punishment of life imprisonment till death for an accused and allow his properties to be confiscated, the top police official said.

"We have arrested him under the Anti-Hijacking Act sections. This is the first arrest under the Act after it came into force," Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) JK Bhatt said.

"We are in contact with the National Investigation Agency. The case may be handed over to the NIA if the Centre wants," he said.

The Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight, with 115 passengers and seven crew members on board, had yesterday made an emergency landing after a note stating that there were hijackers and a bomb on board was found in the plane's washroom.

All 122 people on board were safely evacuated from the Boeing 737-900 plane which was parked at a remote bay.

The note, allegedly placed by Salla, stated that there were hijackers and a bomb in the cargo area, officials had said earlier.

It was a printed note in Urdu and English, asking that the plane be flown straight to PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir). It ended with the words, "Allah is Great".

The reference to PoK made investigators suspicious because Pakistan-based terrorists call the area 'Azad Kashmir', an official had said.

(with inputs from PTI)

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