‘Forced to act as hijack like situation prevailed'



Thiruvananthapuram: The woman pilot of the Air India flight involved in the hijack alarm case today stuck to her stand that she was compelled to act as "a hijack-like situation" prevailed with protests by passengers after the Abu Dhabi-Kochi flight was diverted here on October 19.

The pilot, Rupali Wagmore, who was questioned for about two hours here, told the Special Investigation Team that three passengers had allegedly barged into the cockpit of the Air India Express flight and three others supported them.

Wagmore reportedly pressed the hijack button in panic after passengers of Air India Express flight 4422 stormed the cockpit and entered into a heated argument with her after it was diverted here on October 19 due to poor visibility at Kochi, causing several hours of delay.

Police said the pilot persisted with her complaint during questioning that she had been threatened with dire consequences by three passengers if she did not take the flight to Kochi.

The SIT under Assistant Police Commissioner K S Vimal had earlier questioned six passengers, identified on the basis of the FIR lodged in the Valiyathura police station in the city.

The special team was set up by the state government to find out whether there was any substance in the pilot's charge that she was threatened with dire consequences.

PTI