In first prosecution under stringent anti-hijacking law, Mumbai jeweller sentenced for leaving threat on Mumbai-Delhi flight in 2017
A special NIA court on Tuesday sentenced a Mumbai businessman to life imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 5 crore on him for leaving a hijack threat note on a Jet Airways plane in October 2017. The court of special NIA judge K M Dave said the fine amount submitted by the convict, businessman Birju Salla, 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.
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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, which had replaced a vintage law of 1982. The NIA had, in January last year, filed a charge sheet against him under various sections of the Act.
The NIA had said Salla prepared a 'threat note' in both English and Urdu and placed it 'intentionally' in the tissue box of the toilet near the business class of the Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight on October 30, thereby jeopardising the safety of passengers and crew on board.
He was arrested in October 2017 after the plane made an emergency landing at Ahmedabad airport. All 115 passengers were made to disembark at the Ahmedabad airport and screened.
He confessed to the crime and told investigators that he had done it to force Jet Airways to close its Delhi operation and his girlfriend, who worked in the Delhi office, would come back to Mumbai.
What the note said
Flight number 9W covered by hijackers and aircraft should not be land and flown straight to PoK [Pakistan-occupied Kashmir]. Twelve people on board. If you put landing gear you will hear the noise of people dying. Don’t take it as a joke…
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