A special NIA court in Ahmedabad on Tuesday found a businessman guilty of planting a hijack threat letter on a Mumbai-Delhi flight and awarded him with life imprisonment for the remainder of his life along with a fine of five crore rupees. This is the first case against an individual under the Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016 (amended) in the country.
In 2017, Birju Kishore Salla had left a note onboard a Jet Airways flight bound for Delhi from Mumbai, warning that there were hijackers and explosives onboard. According to the chargesheet, filed on January 23, the accused, Birju Salla, did it in a “planned manner” — and preparation of the threat note was captured on the office CCTV camera.
Of the five crore rupees of fine, the court directed Salla to pay one lakh rupees each to the pilot and co-pilot of flight. After the note was recovered, the flight made an emergency landing at the Ahmedabad airport on October 30, 2017. Judge Dave also ordered that Rs 50,000 be paid to two air hostesses and another Rs 25,000 to each of the other crew members on board. There were 115 passengers and seven crew members aboard the flight
An NIA chargesheet filed on January 23, 2017, had stated that the accused had typed out the threat on his laptop at his Mumbai office the same morning of his flight and had got a print of it from the office printer, which he later put in the tissue paper box of in the plane’s toilet.
The chargesheet said Salla wrote in English: “Flight no 9w covered by Hijackers and aircraft should not be land and flown straight to POK. 12people on board. if you put landing gear you will hear the noise of people dying. don’t take it as a joke…” A message in Urdu scribbled on the note was an exact translation of this English text by using Google Translator, the chargesheet said.