New Delhi (Sputnik): An Indian businessman who caused a flutter on a Jet Airways flight with a hoax bomb scare in 2017 so that his girlfriend could remain with him in the same city has been handed a life sentence and a whopping fine of $720,525 (over INR 50 million).
His girlfriend worked for the same airline but was posted in Delhi. But the man — Birju Kishore Salla, a Mumbai-based jeweller — wanted her to return. The conviction has come under the country's anti-hijacking law, with a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court in India's Ahmedabad city looking into the incident. Of the total fine, each of the pilots is to get compensation of $1,440, each airhostess will get $720 and each passenger will be paid $310.
The plane had 115 passengers and seven crew members aboard.
The NIA in an official statement said the man "jeopardised safety of passengers and crew members on board by intentionally putting printed threat letter" inside the aircraft toilet. Just as the bomb threat note was discovered in the Mumbai-Delhi flight by authorities, during questioning at Ahmedbad the suspected man was held. The flight had a stopover in Ahmedabad city.
"Flight is covered by hijackers and aircraft should not be landed and flown straight to Pakistan side of Kashmir. 12 people on board. If you put landing gear you will hear noise of people dying…Cargo area contains explosives and will blast if you land in Delhi. Allah is great," the threat note read.
After suspicions were aroused, Ahmedabad police arrested Salla. Later, he purportedly confessed to his crime during questioning, revealing that he did it hoping it would lead to Jet Airways closing its offices in New Delhi, so his girlfriend would return to Mumbai.
In a bid to strengthen air safety, Indian parliament approved a stringent law that broadened the scope of the term ‘hijacking' by including in its definition to even the making of a threat to commit a hijacking.