Married Indian man jailed for life after faking a plane hijacking so he could be with his girlfriend

Indian man imprisoned for life after fake plane hijack

An Indian man has been jailed for life after writing a fake hijacking letter just so he could be with his girlfriend.

BBC news reports that Birju Salla wrote and printed a threatening letter before catching a Jet Airways flight from Delhi to Mumbai in 2017.

During the flight, the note was found and claimed there were 12 hijackers and several explosives onboard, and demanded that the flight be diverted to Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

The plane made an emergency landing in Ahmedabad, 483 miles (778km) from its intended destination, and Salla was arrested afterwards.

He admitted that the main reason he wrote the letter was because he wanted to move to Mumbai with his girlfriend, who was a stewardess on the flight.

She had refused to move with him but Salla, who is married, had hoped by defaming the airline she would lose her job and move in with him.

Along with the life sentence, he was also fined 50 million rupees (R10 million) as he become the first person to be tried under India’s new anti-hijacking laws.

Each pilot will get compensation of 100,000 rupees (R 21 358, 59), while each member of the cabin crew will receive 50,000 rupees (R 10 680, 75), and each passenger will be paid 25,000 rupees (R 5 340, 38) for the “misery” the incident caused, according to a statement released by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Salla’s lawyer, Rohit Verma, said he would appeal against the decision.

Sources: BBC, CNN