Man behind Jet Airways flight hoax tweet surrenders in Jaipurhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/man-behind-jet-airways-flight-hoax-tweet-surrenders-in-jaipur/

Man behind Jet Airways flight hoax tweet surrenders in Jaipur

A HR executive with an MNC financial firm, Surinder Pratap, whose twitter handle carried the tweet, was neither detained nor arrested by Jaipur police since it said no case was registered against him in the city.

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A Jet Airways aircraft (Reuters photo)

A day after Surinder Pratap, claiming to be from Ludhiana, posted on Twitter that he has planted a bomb in Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Dubai, the Ludhiana police on Friday claimed that the man called up from Jaipur to apologise.

The police in its press release claimed that the accused said he tweeted just for fun and had no other intention.

Additional Deputy commissioner of Police (crime) Mukhwinder Singh, who spoke to the accused over phone, said the accused told him that he has also been sacked from his job after the tweet.

“The accused told that he is working in Jaipur in a private firm and after the incident the company has fired him from the job. We talked to his employer and he has been arrested now by Bagru Police station in Jaipur,” said the ADCP.

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A native of Uttar Pradesh, Surinder Pratap lived in Gyaspura of Ludhiana in a rented room but six months back he moved to Jaipur.

Sources further said that the man told police over phone that he was planning to commit suicide late on Thursday after realizing how his tweets have landed him in big trouble. He has just 10 followers and 5 tweets only which made police suspicious of the account being a fake one.

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Ludhiana Police Commissioner Pramod Ban told PTI. Ludhiana Police succeeded in establishing contact over the phone today with Pratap, who has admitted to having posted the tweet, said Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner of Police, Naveen Singla.

“Pratap hails from Uttar Pradesh. Currently, he is living in Jaipur. Around six months back, he had come to Ludhiana for some work and lived here for a small period of time,” he said. Pratap claims to have “casually” posted the tweet from his account, which was created recently, and by the same name, without knowing its repercussions, Singla said.

“He has been working in Jaipur for some time now and is employed as an HR executive with an MNC,” the DCP added. Pratap had posted two tweets from his mobile, one was about a bomb spotted in the flight and in the other tweet, he claimed that he was involved in the Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh.

“The accused said that he wanted to draw the attention of people, so he found Tweeter a good platform. He was not aware of the result. After the plane’s landing, he received very critical and adverse response, so he deleted the tweets,” sources said.

Cyber crime expert Mukesh Chaudhary, who was assisting the local police in this case, said that similar incidents of hoax through social networking sites have also taken place in the past and police needs to create awareness about cyber laws.

“Such incidents are like cyber terrorism. Youth do not know consequences of posing such threats, they just do it for a fun or to draw attention but it can ruin their career and police should focus on creating awareness,” Chaudhary said.

Preliminary investigation by Ludhiana Police suggested that Pratap “opened his twitter account four to five days ago”. “We have talked to him over the phone. He has admitted to having posted the tweet casually and without knowing what his action was going to lead to. “Today, we informed Jaipur Police about the whole thing and put the entire facts before them. I personally talked to the Commissioner of Jaipur Police,” Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner of Police, Naveen Singla said.

Asked if Ludhiana Police had registered any case against Pratap, he said, “The tweet was made from Jaipur. Now, it is for them to take the case further.” DCP Singla said that Ludhiana police had been trying to trace Pratap’s location since last night and succeeded in establishing contact with him this morning. Asked if Pratap had any criminal background, Singla said that “nothing of the sort has come to the fore during our investigations so far”.

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The tweet — “Bomb spotted on Jet Airways 9W 536 from Mumbai to Dubai departure at 1225 from CSIA” (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport)– triggered the scare after it was noticed by a Jet Airways staff who informed Mumbai ATC about it. The message was relayed to the Muscat ATC at 1.55 P.M. following which the plane was diverted to the airport in the Omani capital.

(with inputs from PTI)

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