New Delhi, June 8
A Mumbai-bound Vistara airlines flight from Delhi was delayed for about two hours after a passenger said she overheard a fellow traveller speaking about a bomb in his bag, a claim that was later declared a hoax, official sources said Thursday.
A designated committee of multiple security, intelligence, airport operations and aviation agencies was convened at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport around 6.10 pm on Wednesday to ascertain this claim reported for flight no UK-941 (Delhi to Mumbai), which was scheduled to depart at 4.55 pm, they said.
The passenger reported to the airline crew that she overheard a male passenger saying to someone on phone that the "CISF could not detect the bomb that was in my bag", the sources said.
The CISF is the designated aviation security force that undertakes checking of air passengers and their cabin baggage as part of providing a counter-terrorist threat to 66 civil airports in the country.
The crew, sources said, immediately informed the ground security and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel following which the flight's take off was delayed and an anti-sabotage sweep was carried out in the terminal area and the check-in baggage even as the overall security apparatus was put on an "alert" mode.
The threat was declared "non-specific" or hoax around 6.45 pm and the flight with 163 passengers was allowed to depart for Mumbai, they said.
The passenger who was accused of the 'bomb chat' and the complainant were handed over to the Delhi Police, and the male passenger was later booked under sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 268 (public nuisance) of the Indian Penal Code, the sources said.
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