A Jet Airways flight was stopped minutes before taking off from Delhi on Monday after a bomb scare following a threat by an anonymous caller.
All 104 guests and seven crew members were deplaned from the aircraft scheduled to leave for Kathmandu and security agencies were conducting a search, a statement released by Jet Airways said.
“A call was at 12.55 pm at the deputy commissioner of police airport office where the caller said that a gift for you is at seat no 18 and said Happy Independence Day. No phone number was displayed,” said a senior police officer.
The bomb threat call was received at the airport terminal just before the scheduled departure of the Kathmandu-bound Jet Airways flight 9W 260 at 1.25pm, officials said.
They said the plane was taken to the isolation bay at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The Bomb Threat Assessment Committee (BTAC) was also activated, they said, and a final clearance for the flight was awaited.
“We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our guests. Security of our guests and crew is always our number one priority,” Jet Airways said.
The incident came two days after a Mumbai-bound GoAir flight carrying more than 150 people from Bhubaneshwar made an emergency stopover an hour into the journey following an anonymous tip about a bomb on board the flight. However, no suspicious item was found after a security check.
Security has been scaled up across the nation ahead of the Republic Day celebrations which will be attended in Delhi by French President Francois Hollande.
The National Investigation Agency on Friday rounded up over a dozen people, including the self-appointed India head of Islamic State, during raids in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
In another development, the anti-terrorist squad of UP Police arrested two suspected IS operatives, one from Lucknow and another from Kushinagar while they were hunting for two others, all of whom were believed to be part of a terror outfit that was planning attacks on Republic Day celebrations and the Ardh Kumbh mela in Haridwar.