Gujarati bizman chargesheeted under anti-hijacking laws
Ahmedabad: A Gujarati businessman, accused of planting a note about hijackers and a bomb in the toilet of a Mumbai-Delhi flight, was on Tuesday chargesheeted by the NIA under the anti-hijacking laws, which may invite life imprisonment if proven guilty.
After a detailed probe, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed the chargesheet at a special court in Delhi against accused Birju Salla alias Amar Soni under various sections of the Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016.
Salla allegedly planted the note about hijackers and a bomb in the toilet of a October 30, 2017 Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Ahmedabad, a release issued by the NIA said.
Flight 9W 339, which had taken off from Mumbai with 115 passengers and seven crew members, was diverted to Ahmedabad early morning that day.
The note, allegedly placed by the Mumbai-based Gujarati businessman stated that there were hijackers and a bomb in the cargo area.
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 NIA, a central agency empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states, had registered a case on November 7, 2017 following a Home Ministry order.
After investigation, it has been established that accused Salla, who travelled in the business class of the flight from Mumbai, prepared a 'threat note' in 'English' and 'Urdu' and he intentionally placed it in the tissue paper box of the toilet near the business class thereby jeopardised the safety of the passengers and crew members on board, the NIA said in its chargesheet.
During the probe, sufficient oral, documentary, technical, forensic and material evidence has been collected.
"Accused Salla thus has committed the offence as defined in various sections of the Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016," the NIA chargesheet said.
The stringent Anti-Hijacking Act, which came into effect in July last year replacing a 1982-vintage law, prescribes capital punishment in the event of death of "any person".
It also includes several acts within the definition of hijacking including making a threat, attempts or abetment to commit the offence.
The Act mandates the Centre to confer powers of investigation, arrest and prosecution on any officer of the central government or the NIA.