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Mumbai jeweller who created hijack scare becomes first person to be put on no-fly list

Birju Kishore Salla was also the first to be booked under the stringent Anti-Hijacking Act which had replaced the vintage law of 1982

india Updated: May 20, 2018 22:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
No-Fly list,Mumbai jeweller,Birju Kishore Salla
Mumbai-based jeweller Birju Kishore Salla allegedly left a hoax note in the washroom of Jet Airways flight.(AFP File Photo)

Birju Kishore Salla, a Mumbai-based jeweller who created a hijack scare onboard a Jet Airways flight in October last year, has become the first person to be put on the ‘National No Fly List’, eight months after it was unveiled.

Incidentally, he was also the first to be booked under the stringent Anti-Hijacking Act which had replaced the vintage law of 1982.

Salla (37) was arrested in October last year by the crime branch following the emergency landing made by the Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways plane at the Ahmedabad airport after the pilot was alerted about a note about hijackers and a bomb which was found in the plane’s washroom by a cabin crew.

“Mr Salla, the guy who had created the hijack scare in a Jet Airways flight last year, is the first person to be put on the no fly list,” a senior DGCA official said confirming the development.

The then Union civil aviation minister, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, had advised airlines to put him on the no-fly list, in addition to other statutory criminal action.

Under the revised civil aviation requirement (CAR), a passenger can be considered to be placed under three categories of unruly behaviour, with category three bearing the harshest punishment.

Salla has been placed under the third category.

Levels of misbehaviour

Offences have been graded into three levels, with the ban period increasing with the severity of the infraction:

Level 1: Unruly physical gestures, verbal harassment and unruly inebriation: Ban up to three months.

Level 2: Physically abusive behaviour (pushing, kicking, hitting, inappropriate touching): Ban up to six months.

Level 3: Life threatening behaviour -- assaults, damage to aircraft systems etc: Ban is minimum of two years and can stretch indefinitely.

Unruly behaviour is probed by an internal committee set up by every domestic airline under the chairmanship of a retired District and Sessions judge.

Its members are from different scheduled airlines and passenger associations, consumer associations and retired officials of the consumer dispute redressal forum.

Jeweller’s offence

Salla is a multi-millionaire jeweller having his office in the Zaveri Bazar area of Mumbai and a flat in a posh locality of the metropolis.

The note, placed by Salla, stated that there were hijackers and a bomb in the cargo area.

He had confessed to preparing the note, hoping the threat could make Jet Airways close operation in Delhi and his girlfriend, who works in the airlines Delhi office, comes back to Mumbai.

According to the crime branch, the note 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 reference to POK made investigators suspicious because Pakistan-based terrorists call the area ‘Azad Kashmir’.

According to the DGCA, it is the responsibility of Jet Airways now to inform other airlines about the grounding of this particular passenger under the CAR. The DGCA will continue to maintain database of such passengers.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: May 20, 2018 12:25 IST