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INDIAN AIRLINE PASSENGER GETS LIFE-TERM FOR HIJACK HOAX

By NBF News
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A court in New Delhi on Tuesday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for prompting a hijack scare on an Indian airline, news reports said.

Jitender Mohla, a 45-year-old chartered accountant, entered the cockpit of a flight from Goa to New Delhi in February 2009, claiming to have a gun and needles.

He also said that he was one of the accused members of a team that hijacked an Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar in 1999.

The pilot alerted authorities that the plane was being hijacked and made an emergency landing. After questioning, Mohla's claims were found to be a hoax.

Indian media said the sentence was unusually harsh but the judge excoriated Mohla for his “terrifying act”'.

“Even if it is presumed that he (Mohla) had no such intention to hijack the aircraft, it must be attributed that he knew he was on board

a flight carrying 160 passengers and his terrifying act, could endanger the safety of the passengers as well as the aircraft in flight,'' district judge I.S. Mehta said.

Mohla can appeal against the sentence in a higher court.