An Indian business owner has been sentenced to life imprisonment after leaving a fake hijack letter in the toilet of a Jet Airways airplane. The aircraft was en route from Delhi to Mumbai.
The perpetrator named Birju Salla went to such extremes so his Jet Airways stewardess mistress would live with him in Mumbai. Salla was hoping that the commotion will force Jet Airways to close its Delhi operations so his girlfriend would lose her job. His plan inevitably backfired.
Aside from being jailed for life, the man was fined 50 million rupees ($720,725; £650,877). Salla is the first to be prosecuted under the new anti-hijacking laws of India.
The strict legislation imposes life imprisonment as a minimum sentence and a death sentence as maximum punishment.
The Indian entrepreneur admitted to writing and printing out the threatening note in his Mumbai office prior to catching the flight back in October 2017.
He wrote on the note that 12 hijackers and explosives were on board. It also demanded the flight be re-routed to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. Pilots of the aircraft were forced to make an emergency landing in Ahmedabad.
Salla and his flight attendant girlfriend were reportedly having an extra-marital affair at the time. He asked her to move with him to Mumbai but the woman reportedly refused as she was working in Delhi. According to the AFP news agency, a threatening letter qualifies as attempted hijacking under India’s new laws.
Salla’s defense attorney Rohit Verma reportedly said he would file an appeal against the conviction.