Authorities at the international airport had a horrid week after a Palestinian national kept them on their toes. Most officials said they heaved a sigh of relief after Ali H N Abushammala (25) was deported to Cairo in the morning yesterday.
Abushammala had travelled to Mumbai by Jet Airways 9W 251 (Colombo- Mumbai) on June 14, and was supposed to board a connecting flight to Brussels around 2 am (Jet Airways 9W 228). But he was not allowed to board the flight, as he lacked the necessary travel documents.
Determined to board, Abushammala pushed the airlines officers aside and ran towards the aircraft. He then trespassed into the same aircraft and locked himself in the toilet. The airport officials had to summon the engineering staff to open the door, following which Abushammala was taken into custody and handed over to the security officers.
He was later kept in the refusal room at Terminal 2 (T2). While being escorted to the refusal room, Abushammala created a ruckus and threatened the airport officials of dire consequences for preventing him from boarding the flight. “Around 1.30 pm, on June 16, we heard a loud noise coming from inside the refusal room.
When one of our officers opened the door to check, he (Abushammala) threatened to commit suicide. As a result, we had to deploy a person to keep hourly tabs on the Palestinian national. Being a foreigner, he had become our priority,” said an airport official.
However, Abushammala left for his hometown in Cairo following intervention by the Palestinian embassy, on requested of the airport officials. He left Mumbai via EgyptAir flight MS-969 (Mumbai-Cairo) at 8.55 am.
A security official at T2 said, “Since he lacked necessary visa requirements to fly to Brussels, he was prevented from boarding the flight. Immigration officers are also investigating the matter. His departure has brought relief to all the officers, as he had kept them on their toes. The Palestinian would deliberately create a ruckus so that our officers would let him fly to Brussels.”
Commenting on the issue, a Jet Airways spokesperson said, “On June 13, a foreign national was travelling from Colombo to Brussels. Officials at the Mumbai airport discovered that his travel documents weren’t in order.
As per the procedure, he was detained by the airline security staff and handed over to the airport authorities. The airline was in constant touch with the embassy, and this morning (Tuesday) the guest was facilitated to travel to his desired destination via another airline.”