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Delhi's IGI counters feared 'hijack bid'


Raheel Khursheed,CNN.com
Feb 02, 2009 at 12:13pm IST

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New Delhi: The hijack drama in high air as well as on ground zero at the IGI over the feared hijack bid of the Indigo airlines flight has finally ended.

While the plane was airborne, it was to be an event-less journey for the 163 passengers of the Goa Delhi Indigo Flight 6E 334.

But following its emergency landing at the Delhi airport, all hell broke loose.

There was speculation that the landing was a mock drill or maybe a hijack situation. And all passengers had to stay put in the plane for over four hours before they were finally deplaned. No one could exactly say what had led to this situation.

"Mid way we noticed a fellow passenger moving about the aisle a lot, following which an air hostess shouted at him," said Shiv Kumar, one of the passengers on board the aircraft.

The airline confirmed that 20 minutes before the plane was to reach Delhi, the pilot made a distress call asking for a discreet frequency, priority landing and armed NSG support. This was done following suspected unruly behaviour of some passengers.

Interestingly none of the 163 passengers were aware of this development since all the announcements by the cabin crew following the landing were that of a delay in finding a parking bay.

Passenger Aravinder Bhalla said, "I thought it was a delay till the NSG commandoes surrounded the plane at the airport. Then I thought that maybe we had a terrorist on board or there was a bomb on the plane."

Three passengers, Sameer, Jitendar, and a woman passenger Hardeep Anand were detained by the Delhi Police for questioning.

While Sameer and Hardeep were released later, the police continued questioning Jitendar. No arms were found on the detained persons.

Of the three detainees, two have been released while one Jitender Mohala has been booked for unruly behaviour and perceived threat. He will be produced in the Dwarka court later on Monday.

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