Prank-ly my dear, you should give a damn

Updated: Jun 14, 2019, 07:50 IST | mid-day correspondent

The fine amount submitted by the convict will be distributed among the crew members and passengers on board the affected plane

Prank-ly my dear, you should give a damn

A special NIA court on Tuesday sentenced Mumbai businessman Birju Salla to life imprisonment and imposed a fine of R5 crore on him for leaving a hijack threat note on a Jet Airways plane in October 2017.

The fine amount submitted by the convict will be distributed among the crew members and passengers on board the affected plane.

Salla was accused of creating a hijack scare by leaving a threat note written in English and Urdu in a tissue box in the aircraft's toilet on October 30. After the incident, Salla became the first person to be put under the 'national no-fly list', and was also the first to be booked under the stringent Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016.

There is a lesson here for persons who play pranks for different reasons. We have so many cases where people have called up a public facility in charge or a transport official threatening this, that or the other. Most of this is just for some quick, cheap thrills.

At other times, these juvenile pranksters, sometimes fully grown adults, think this is funny. We live in times when the terror threat looms large and playing these inane tricks should invite strict punishment. They cause anxiety, fear and unnecessary trouble. They can delay urgent medical treatment for someone who needs it, for instance. Their mindless fooling around is dangerous. Not only can it delay, but in certain circumstances, also create a riot or situation that can spiral out of hand very quickly.

Making up these threats and throwing people and authorities for a loop may give you a few seconds of excitement, but is a crime and should be treated as such.

Let this exemplary punishment serve as a warning for those who are tempted to try things in a similar vein.

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