Birju Kishore Salla, a jeweller from Mumbai becomes the first man put on the no-fly list (NFL) enforced by India eight months ago for disruptive passengers. His wrongdoing? Stimulating a hijack scare last year on a Jet Airways flight.

According to a report by Times of India, on Oct. 30, 2017, a Jet Airways airline flying from Mumbai to Delhi, was diverted to Ahmedabad, after Salla left a hijacking message in the lavatory of the business class. The consequences of this included him being banned from Jet Airways for 5 years.

Elaborating on the incident, TOI reported that Salla who was seated on seat 1A of Jet Airway flight number 9W 339, left a note that read “9W 339 is covered by hijackers and a/c (aircraft) should not land and (be) flown straight to POK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir). 12 ppl on board. If you put landing you can hear the noise of people dying. Don’t take it as a joke. Cargo area contains explosive bombs and will blast if you land in DEL (Delhi).”

After the aircraft was forced to divert to Ahmedabad with a safe landing, a bomb disposal squad checked the plane finding no explosives, as the note was deemed a hoax.

A senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stated to TOI, “This is the first case of an Indian carrier putting someone on the NFL. Jet Airways has informed us that after following due procedure, they have banned him (Salla) for five years with effect from November 2017 for breach of security. It is the airline’s responsibility to inform other carriers and then it is up to them whether they also put the person on their NFLs. We will continue to maintain a database for such passengers.”

The airline made no comments on the issue, but TOI further reported that Salla has been banned under the third level, which is considered the highest, of ‘onboard unruly behavior that entails grounding from two years to a lifetime.’ While the first level involves behavior such as physical gestures with grounding up to three months and the second level involves physically abusive behavior such as pushing and sexual harassment with grounding up to 6 months, the third level entails ‘life-threatening behavior which includes damage to the aircrafts operating systems along with serious physical violence and attempted or actual breach of cockpit.’


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