NIA court sentences man to life imprisonment for hijack hoax, imposes Rs 5 crore fine

The Hush Post | 9:20 pm | One-minute read |

A NIA court in Ahmedabad today sentenced a Mumbai-based businessman to life imprisonment for leaving a hijack threat note on a Jet Airways plane in October 2017. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5 crore on Birju Salla.

The fine amount will be distributed among the crew members and passengers on board the affected plane. The pilots will get Rs 1 lakh while the crew members have been awarded Rs 50,000 each.

Salla had created a hijack scare by planting a threat note written in English and Urdu on a tissue paper box of the aircraft’s toilet on October 30, 2017.

The Mumbai-based jeweler is the first person to be put on the National No-Fly List. He is also the first person to be tried under the stringent Anti-Hijacking Act after it was amended in 2016.

The NIA had in January last year filed a charge sheet against him under sections 3(1), 3(2)(a) and 4(b) of the Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016.

“Flight number 9w covered by hijackers and aircraft should not be land and flown straight to PoK [Pakistan-occupied Kashmir],” read the note, which was written in Urdu. “Twelve people on board. If you put landing gear you will hear the noise of people dying. Don’t take it as a joke…”

According to investigators, Salla was having an affair with a Jet Airways employee. He planted the letter since he wanted the woman to quit her job.

He hoped his act would force Jet Airways to close its Delhi operation and his girlfriend, who worked in the airline’s Delhi office, would come back to Mumbai.

The threat note ended with the words ‘Allah is Great’.

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