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Hijack alarm: Passengers deny threatening lady pilot

October 25, 2012 20:51 IST

Six passengers, whose protests near the cockpit led the pilot of an Air India plane to sound a hijack alert at the airport in Thiruvananthapuram, were on Thursday questioned by the police.

In Kochi, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy continued to target Air India, saying there was "some lapse" on the part of the airline for allegedly failing to properly inform the agitated passengers about the delay in the flight, leading the pilot to press the hijack button in panic.

Nearly 200 passengers of Air India's Kochi-bound flight from Abu Dhabi on October 19 protested and allegedly tried to enter the cockpit after it was diverted to the state capital due to poor visibility.

Based on Commander Rupali Waghmare's complaint, the police had registered a case against six 'identifiable' passengers.

Assistant Commissioner of Police K S Vimal said the passengers have denied all charges levelled against them by the pilot.

"The passengers said there was some hue and cry when the flight was diverted to Kochi but nobody threatened the pilot, as mentioned in her complaint," said Vimal.

"They said their reaction was spontaneous and nothing happened as described by the pilot," he said.

The questioning took place for two hours at the office of the assistant commissioner. All the six passengers also gave statements to the police.

Vimal also said efforts were going on to contact Waghmare to take her statement.
Waghmare, in her police complaint, claimed she was threatened with dire consequences.

According to the FIR lodged with the city police, Waghmare complained that a passenger even told her he would not hesitate to kill her if anything happened to his six-month-old child.

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