Ahmedabad: Jeweller Birju Kishore Salla, who allegedly planted a note about hijackers and a bomb in the toilet of a Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight, was arrested on Tuesday under the stringent Anti-Hijacking Act, a senior official said.
This is the first arrest under the Act which came into force in July 2017, replacing the 1982 vintage law, according to which an accused can face a maximum punishment of life imprisonment till death and his properties can be confiscated, police said.
“We have arrested him under the Anti-Hijacking Act sections. This is the first arrest under the Act after it came into force,” Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) J K Bhatt said.
“We are in contact with the National Investigation Agency. The case may be handed over to the NIA if the Centre wants,” he said.
“Salla is a multi-millionaire jeweller, having a flat in a posh locality of Mumbai. He is originally from Dedan village of Amreli district,” the police official said.
“The accused had planted the note with an intention to close down Jet Airways so that his girlfriend working in the Delhi-based office of the airline would leave her job and come to stay with him in Mumbai,” Bhatt said.
He said the accused had earlier complained of finding a cockroach in the food served on Jet Airways flight.
“We are investigating if he is in contact with any other anti-social groups. We have not found any other offence against him,” Bhatt said.
The Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight, with 115 passengers and seven crew members on board, had on Monday made an emergency landing after a note stating that there were hijackers and a bomb on board was found in the plane’s washroom.
The Boeing 737-900 plane was parked at a remote bay and all 122 people on board safely deplaned.
The note, allegedly placed by Salla, stated that there were hijackers and a bomb in the cargo area, officials had earlier said.
It was a printed note in Urdu and English, asking that the plane be flown straight to PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir). It ended with the words, “Allah is Great”.
The reference to PoK made investigators suspicious because Pakistan-based terrorists call the area ‘Azad Kashmir’, an official earlier said.