A worried husband triggered a bomb scare Monday night that forced a Delhi-bound Air India flight to be diverted to Bengaluru for an emergency landing, setting off nationwide alert, sources said.
Air India’s AI 047, with 162 passengers on board including the wife of a Delhi-based male nurse, left Kochi at 9pm Monday. But soon, it was redirected to Bengaluru and an extensive security drill that ran till 9am Tuesday followed after Cochin airport authorities sounded bomb alert.
It started with a phone conversation the wife had with her Abu Dhabi-based mother, Delhi Police sources said. “His wife had spoken to her mother and told her that there was a lot of frisking and checking at the airport; she feared there was a bomb on her flight,” a Delhi Police officer said.
The woman then called up her son-in-law, an assistant male nurse with a private hospital in west Delhi, asking him to find out if indeed that was the case. The man called the Kochi airport, claiming danger to the flight, a DCP-rank officer of the Bangalore Police said. The man had apparently posed a question but it was misread as a warning, the Delhi Police said.
As the jet headed to Bengaluru, a police team traced the caller to Rohini’s Sector 5. The man was picked up around 3am Tuesday and let off in the evening. He has been booked for trying to create public fear and alarm. “We left him off after questioning. The case will now be taken to its logical conclusion by the Kerala Police,” MI Haider, DCP (IGIA), said.