Flight grounded after passenger’s hoax bomb-scare

New Delhi:NDTV: After a call about a bomb onboard an Ahmedabad-bound Spicejet aircraft at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport last evening turned out to be a hoax, the police today arrested the alleged caller, Harender Khanna. Authorities were forced to ground Spicejet aircraft SG-148 last evening just as it was preparing to take off with 174 passengers on board.

According to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), at about 7:40 pm yesterday, the Delhi Police informed it that it was in receipt of a message from a person that there was a bomb on the Spicejet flight to Ahmedabad which was to take off at 8: 10 pm.

Counter-terror and anti-hijack measures were quickly activated by the CISF which led to the isolation of the aircraft, de-boarding the 174 passengers and offloading of the check-in baggage. After extensive checks, the flight was declared safe.

The CISF surveillance team deployed at the IGI subsequently traced the mobile number from which the call was made and it was found that Mr Khanna had made the call.

“On inquiry, it was revealed that Mr Khanna was supposed to fly to Ahmedabad by the said flight but was not accepted by the airline due to late reporting. On questioning, he informed that his mobile phone was lost for about four hours and someone gave it back after demanding Rs. 5,000. But it was ascertained through CCTV footage at the CISF control room that Mr Khanna made the call from the airport terminal and mobile phone was with him all the time.

“He was then handed over to the police for legal action. During joint interrogation, Mr Khanna accepted that he had made the hoax call and he was arrested today,” the CISF said in a statement.

A case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against Mr Khanna.

Mr Khanna’s alleged misadventure led to the delay of about four-hours before the passengers were sent on an another flight.

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