This man 'hijacked' a Mumbai-Delhi flight for his girlfriend
Two days after a hijack note on a Jet Airways flight sent airports in India into a tizzy, it has emerged that the hoax-threat was made by a Mumbai-based multi-millionaire jeweler. Birju Salla's motive was straightforward: shut down Jet so his girlfriend, who works for it in Delhi, shifts to Mumbai and helps him launch his own aviation company. Here's more about his plan!
A hijack threat was found on a Mumbai-Delhi flight
Early morning on October 30, a hijack note was found in the washroom of a Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight. "9W-339 is covered by hijackers, should be flown straight to POK.Cargo area contains explosive bombs and will blast if you land in DEL," the note said in Urdu and English. It was subsequently diverted to Ahmedabad and all passengers and crew on board evacuated safely.
The clues that led investigators to the accused
Investigators were suspicious: Pakistani terrorists do not call the region in question 'Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir' or 'PoK'; they call it 'Azad Kashmir'. Moreover, the note was found in the business class washroom. There were only three passengers there, and only Birju had used the lavatory.
Accused says motive was to build his own aviation company
Birju later confessed he did it as he was planning to start a new air charter company for his girlfriend, 'Royal Airlines'; it was an attempt to get rival Jet shut down and convince her to shift to Mumbai. In 2016, he had alleged he found a cockroach in breakfast served on a Jet flight. The purpose was the same.
What will happen to the accused now?
Birju, a businessman dealing in jewellery, property, bullion and even khakhras, lives in Mumbai's Nana Chowk with his father, mother and wife. This is the first arrest under the strengthened Anti-Hijacking Act which was implemented in July. Birju might face life imprisonment along with fine. His properties could be confiscated. His girlfriend will also be questioned. The NIA is likely to take over probe.