Several months after the central government had put out a national no-fly list (NFL) and a framework of rules for "handling unruly and disruptive passengers", a man from Mumbai, Birju Kishore Salla, has become the first person to land on the list.
Who is Birju Kishore Salla?
Salla has been put on the NFL owing to the hijack scare that he had created in a Jet Airways flight on October 30, 2017. Salla, who is said to be a multi-millionaire jeweler is a native Gujarat's Amreli district.
On October 30, Salla had planted a letter inside one of the toilets of the Jet Airways flight 9W 339 which had 115 passengers and seven crew members on board.
The letter, written in Urdu and English, stated, "Flight No 9 W 339 is covered by hijackers and the aircraft should not be landed and flown straight to POK. 12 people on board. If you put landing gear you will hear the noise of people dying. Don't take it as a joke. Cargo area contains explosive bomb and will blast if you land in Delhi."
This forced the flight to divert its route and it landed safely at the Gujarat capital's airport due to a security threat. The businessman was arrested and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered a case under Section 4(b) of the Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016 which warrants life imprisonment till death and complete forfeiture of all movable and immovable assets of the person.
The Jet Airways has now banned him from flying its aircraft for five years.
"This is the first case of an Indian carrier putting someone on the NFL. Jet Airways has informed us that after following due procedure, they have banned him (Salla) for five years with effect from November 2017 for breach of security," The Times of India senior quoted a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) a saying.
"It is the airline's responsibility to inform other carriers and then it is up to them whether they also put the person on their NFLs. We will continue to maintain a database for such passengers," the official added.
Salla has been put banned for five years as he has been categorised under the highest level (three) of on-board unruly behaviour.
There are three levels of offenses and punishments that a disruptive flyer can face on a flight.
Level 1: If a flyer is convicted of "disruptive behavior" like making physical gestures, he or she can be put on the no-fly list for two months. They will not be able to fly with the airline over this duration.
Level 2: If a flyer is found guilty of "physically abusive behavior," like pushing, kicking or sexual harassment, he or she may be put on the no-fly list for six months.
Level 3: If a flyer is convicted of "life threatening behavior," he or she can be put on the no-fly list for two years or more.