New Delhi: A bomb hoax call by a disgruntled passenger forced authorities to ground an Ahmedabad-bound Spice jet plane just as it was preparing to take off with 174 passengers on board at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport.
Police on Monday arrested Harender Khanna who allegedly claimed that there was a bomb on the SG-148 flight after he was not allowed to board the plane due to late reporting last evening.
According to the CISF, at about 1941 hours yesterday, the Delhi Police informed it that it was in receipt of a message from a person that there was a bomb on the Spice jet flight to Ahmedabad which was to take off at 2010 hours.
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 Khanna had made the call.
"On inquiry, it was revealed that 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 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, Khanna accepted that he had made the hoax call and he was arrested today," the CISF said in a statement today.
A case under various sections of the IPC has been registered against Khanna.
Khanna`s alleged misadventure led to the delay of about four-hours before the passengers were sent on another flight.