Ahmedabad: A special NIA court here on Tuesday sentenced a businessman to life imprisonment for planting a hijack threat letter on a Mumbai-Delhi flight in 2017. Additionally, accused Birju Kishore Salla has also been fined Rs five crore. (Also read: Army Sepoy Held For Hoax Bomb Call) Also Read - Sachin Vaze Writes Letter To NIA, Says Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh Sought Rs 2 Crore From Him
Reports said this was the first case against an individual under the Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016 (amended) in the country. Also Read - Assam Assembly Polls: EC Bars Himanta Biswa Sarma From Campaigning For 48 Hours. Here's Why
Salla was found guilty of leaving a note onboard a Jet Airways flight bound for Delhi from Mumbai on October 30, 2017. The letter warned of the presence of hijackers and explosives onboard. According to the NIA chargesheet, filed on January 23, Salla did it in a “planned manner” — and said he was captured on his office CCTV camera while composing the threat note. Also Read - Mansukh Hiren Death Case: Hard Disk, Car Number Plates Found in Mumbai River; Vaze on Site as NIA Probe On
Meanwhile, of the Rs five crore fine, Salla has to pay Rs one lakh each to the pilot and co-pilot of flight, Rs 50,000 each to two air hostesses and another Rs 25,000 to each of the other crew members on board. There were 115 passengers and seven crew members aboard the flight, said a report.
The NIA chargesheet had said that the accused had typed out the threat on his laptop at his Mumbai office and got a printout there itself. He later planted it in the tissue box in the plane’s toilet.
He had reportedly written in English, “Flight no 9w covered by Hijackers and aircraft should not be land and flown straight to POK. 12people on board. if you put landing gear you will hear the noise of people dying. don’t take it as a joke…” A message in Urdu scribbled on the note was an exact translation of this English text by using Google Translator, the chargesheet said.
At the time of his arrest, Salla had reportedly told the police that he planted the threatening note so that Jet Airways would shut down and his girlfriend in the Delhi-based office of the airline would quit her job and move to Mumbai to live with him. Salla is a