Man arrested in India after mid-air hijack threat on domestic flight

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shown here is an IndiGo A320, similar to the one involved.
Image: Kprateek88.

An Indian man has been arrested after threatening to hijack the domestic flight on which he was traveling on Sunday February 1. The flight was traveling between New Delhi and Goa in India. The IndiGo Airlines Airbus A320 was coming in to land at the time.

Jitendra Kumar has been charged with criminal intimidation and endangering life and personal safety. Another man and a woman were also detained but not charged. The jet moved to a quiet area of Gandhi International Airport where armed security forces surrounded it, arresting Kumar, who was unarmed.

The jet was carrying 160 people when Kumar, who stood up and refused to sit down when asked by flight attendants. He instead threatened to blow the aircraft up. It was suspected he may be drunk, but he was instead found to have low blood pressure. The other two were arrested as they had been seen speaking to Kumar earlier.

All passengers disembarked safely after about three hours. If convicted, Kumar faces up to seven years in prison. Indian airports and security remain on high alert after terrorist attacks in Mumbai saw gunmen kill 164 people on November 26.