A jeweler was arrested on Tuesday and held under the strict Anti-Hijacking Act after he allegedly placed a note about there being hijackers and a bomb aboard the plane in the toilet of a Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight.
The accused is a multi-millionaire jeweler with a flat in a posh Mumbai locality and is originally from Dedan village in Amreli district, according to police sources.
JK Bhatt, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) stated that, “We have arrested him under the Anti-Hijacking Act sections. This is the first arrest after it came into force.” The Commissioner added that they were in touch with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and that they have no objections to handing the case “over to the NIA if the Center wants.”
This is the first such arrest under the stringent Anti-Hijacking Act that came into force in July 2017. It was brought in to replace the vintage law of 1982 as per which an accused could face a maximum punishment of life imprisonment until death and his properties could be confiscated.
The Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight had to make an emergency landing on Monday when a note claiming that there were hijackers on board the plane along with a bomb was found in the washroom of the airplane. The Boeing 737-900 plane had about 122 people on board – about 115 passengers and 7 crew members – and they were all deplaned safely.
The note that was stashed allegedly by jeweler Salla stated that there were terrorists on board and that there was a bomb in the airplane cargo area, according to officials. It was printed in Urdu and English, demanding that the plane be flown directly into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (Pok). The note ended with the words, “Allah is Great.”
What caught the attention of investigators is the fact that the note’s reference of Pok. Pakistan-based terrorists refer to the area in question as “Azad Kashmir” and not Pok. This is what first led authorities to question the fact that it was a real terrorist that was the culprit here.
Apparently, Salla came up with this entire scheme in the hope to shut down Jet Airways so that his girlfriend who works in the airline’s Delhi-based office would move to Mumbai and stay with him. Reportedly, he has earlier complained about finding a cockroach in the food that is served by Jet Airways.