Mumbai Businessman Jailed For Life For Making Hoax Hijack Call
On June 11, Birju Salla, a Mumbai Businessman, was sentenced to life imprisonment for planting a hoax hijack letter in the lavatory of a Jet Flight.
On October 30, 2017, Salla was arrested by the Ahmedabad crime branch for planting a hoax hijack letter in a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Delhi.
The case was handed over to NIA in November 2017. In its charge sheet, NIA reported Salla, wanted to create problems for a female friend, an employee of Jet Airways, who had denied to live with him. Salla thought the letter would force the airline to close down and eventually the woman would lose her job.
He was charged under sections 3 (1), 3(2) and 4(b) of the Act that focused on intentionally seizing or exercising control of an aircraft by force or threatening to hijack the plane.
Fake Bomb Threat Conspiracy Planned To Seek Revenge
The court was provided with evidence that Salla wrote the letter in his office. Salla later informed his interrogators that he used a Google tool to translate the text into Urdu from English.
Various testimonies of evidence convinced the judge MK Dave that the conspiracy was pre-planned.
The letter mentioned that the hijackers were on the flight and threatened that the aircraft should be flown straight to PoK. It warned people of a possible bomb explosion if the flight was landed elsewhere. Flight attendants found the threat letter near a tissue box in the lavatory and informed the pilot, who made an emergency landing at Ahmedabad airport.
The threat was brought into the notice of the Captain of the flight who took the permission of the Air Traffic Controller in Ahmedabad for an emergency landing.
After the hijack hoax, the court imposed a Rs 5 crore fine on Salla observing that “Salla’s threat letter had caused severe mental stress and trauma which was unimaginable”. Of the total amount, 1 lakh will be paid to the pilots each, 50,000 to each flight attendants and 25000 each to all the passengers on board.
Salla became the first person to be put on the National No Fly List, eight months after his arrest.
Birju Salla is also the first person to be handed over life imprisonment under the new Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016.