A 28-year-old IT professional was arrested by Pune City Police Friday after he caused chaos at the city’s airport by raising a false alarm about a certain aircraft having explosives aboard. The man, whose wife was scheduled to board the Air Asia’s Pune-Ranchi flight, allegedly made the threat after facing issues in rescheduling of a return flight that falls within the 14-day airport closure period.
Police identified the accused as Rushikesh Savant (28), resident of Baner. A case was registered at the Vimantal police station.
Police said that Savant is an engineer working at an IT company in Pune. He had gone to the airport around 8.30 am on Friday to drop off his wife, who was going to Ranchi by Air Asia’s Pune-Ranchi flight that departs from the airport at 8.50 am.
His wife had a return journey booking of the same airline for October 16, the day 14-day closure of the airport commences. He spoke to the airline staffers at the counter asking them to reschedule the booking for October 15. “This led to some arguments between Savant and airline staff. After a while, Savant started saying there was a bomb on the aircraft,” police said.
Confirming the incident, Pune Airport Director Santosh Dhoke said that although the information that he was giving was ‘non-specific’, in the interest of safety the security agencies decided to thoroughly inspect the aircraft.
“The man said that the aircraft which had landed at the airport at that time had explosives aboard. When pressed for specifics, he said that if not in the mentioned aircraft, some other flight would have a bomb in next 14 days,” said Dhoke.
“The aircraft was thoroughly inspected and it was found to be safe. Due to this the Air Asia flight which was scheduled to depart at 8.50 am, departed at 12 noon.”
When contacted, the deputy commissioner of police Pankaj Deshmukh confirmed that Savant was arrested for spreading a bomb hoax. Police said Savant seemed to be mentally disturbed and had been taken into custody.