July 24, 2009 12:51:36 am
An unruly passenger on a Mumbai-bound Indigo airline flight sparked off mid-air drama on Thursday after he claimed that the aircraft had a bomb and was headed for Karachi.
Sanjay Kumar Malik had boarded the flight from the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 9.30 am on Thursday,and created the panic around 45 minutes before the aircraft was scheduled to land in Mumbai. The 28-year-old from Haryana was detained by CISF officials in Mumbai.
Theres a bomb on this flight… All lives are in danger… This aircraft will land only in Karachi, was the last conversation by Malik on flight 6E 181,an investigating official said. Following the scare,the flights captain informed the air traffic controller about the presence of an unruly passenger, an airport official said.
CISF spokesperson Rohit Katiyar said: As soon as CISF was informed about the passenger,our commandoes surrounded the aircraft and detained the misbehaving passenger.
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Aditya Ghosh,president of Indigo Airlines,confirmed that all passengers of the flight were safe. The cabin crew handled the situation as per procedures,treating it as a Level-1 threat, an airlines spokesperson said. The incident comes a day after an anonymous call threatened to blow up the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai.
In a similar incident,a passenger on an Indigo flight had sent security agencies in Delhi in a tizzy on February 2 after the flight captain carelessly used the word hijack while informing Air Traffic Controller about the presence of an unruly passenger on board.
Didnt know Malik was on flight: father
Even as Sanjay Kumar Malik spread panic among 169 passengers in the Delhi-Mumbai Indigo flight,his parents were unaware that he was on it.
Officials at Santa Cruz airport police station in Mumbai said Malik has been undergoing treatment at a hospital in Ganganagar,Rajasthan. A separate CISF team got in touch with Maliks father Bansi Lal,who said he was not aware of Maliks movements, an officer said.
Maliks father told CISF officials that he was hospitalised after a severe head injury following an accident on June 30. CISF officials said Malik ran away from the hospital and reached Delhi recently. He was on the flight this morning since he had to meet someone in Mumbai in connection with a job offer,the official said.
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