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Jet Airways flight makes emergency landing in Muscat after ‘suspicious’ tweet raises bomb scare

Jet Airways flight 9W-536 from Mumbai to Dubai today made an emergency landing at the Muscat International Airport after a phone call warning of a bomb onboard was made to the airliner’s call centre in India, reports said.

Representational Image. ReutersRepresentational Image. Reuters

Representational Image. Reuters

Jet Airways has confirmed the emergency landing at Muscat post the bomb threat. The passengers disembarked safely allowing Omani security agencies to search the aircraft, baggage and cargo.

Here’s the Jet Airways statement confirming the emergency landing:

Following the threat, the message was relayed to the pilot and the aircraft was immediately diverted to the Muscat International Airport, which accorded a priority landing to the plane. However, no bomb was found onboard. The Boeing 727-800 aircraft was carrying 54 passengers and seven crew members.

Oman Airport Management Company (OAMC), engineer and acting CEO, Saeed Khamis al Zadjali, told Muscat Daily, “The airport was closed as we had received a signal from the airline for purpose of emergency landing. A code five was initiated by the airlines and this is generally for bomb threat. After the code was received by the airport we went through a standard procedure to deal with the situation. The situation is under control and operations have resumed as normal.”

Riyaz Kuttery, general manager, Jet Airways, Oman, confirmed to Times of Oman that the aircraft landed at 1.08 pm (Oman time).

It was taken to an isolated bay and all the passengers were evacuated. The flight is right now grounded at Muscat International Airport and we are waiting for clearances from the concerned authorities to fly again,” Kuttery told Times of Oman.

Soon after the pilot informed Muscat Air Traffic Controller about the suspected threat, all emergency measures were put in place with ambulances and police vehicles forming part of the procedure. The airport was also shut down for around 15 minutes.

Sketchy details are now slowly emerging with a mysterious tweet sent out by one Surinder Partap eight hours ago warning about a possible bomb in that particular flight. Security agencies have found the account to be a fake one.


Ready to apologise if co-passengers say I misbehaved: Pappu Yadav

New Delhi: Expelled RJD MP Pappu Yadav, who allegedly misbehaved with an airhostess onboard a Jet Airways flight from Patna, on Wednesday blamed his political rivals for “weaving the story” saying he is ready to apologise if his co-passengers say that he did so.

Expelled RJD MP Pappu Yadav. IBNlive

Expelled RJD MP Pappu Yadav. IBNlive

Sticking to his earlier stand of doing nothing “wrong” during his air travel to Delhi yesterday, Yadav said, “It is a conspiracy by my political rivals. They have weaved the entire story to defame me. How come the incident was doing rounds on social media even before the flight could have landed in Delhi.”

He had allegedly misbehaved with the airhostess after she asked him not to throw the leftover food in the aisle of the plane.

Yadav refuted the allegations saying that if some food item spills over the seat or on a passenger’s clothes, it is the cabin crew’s responsibility to clean that up.

“I have been travelling by flight for the past 35 years and there has never been a single allegation against me. There were other passengers also but none of them did complain about my behaviour. If I have had misbehaved as it is being alleged, the other passengers would also have seen that. If even five passengers come and say I misbehaved, I am ready to apologise,” the expelled RJD MP from Bihar said.

Meanwhile, Jet Airways said that it completely stands by with its staff but maintained that the pilot had not yet filed any formal complaint in this regard.

“Under the civil aviation regulations, the commander of the aircraft is fully empowered to file the complaint against unruly passengers onboard with the authorities. In this case, however, no complaint has so far been filed by the pilot,” an airline official said.

Jet Airways had on Tuesday reacted in a guarded manner, saying there was an incident onboard its Patna flight but refused to reveal the identity of the unruly passenger.

“The captain of the flight 9W-728 before landing at Delhi requested ATC for security assistance at the gate due to a disruptive guest onboard. The guest was led by security agencies on arrival,” Jet Airways had said in the statement.


Burn after reading: Govt gives babus new guidelines on docs, Jet-Etihad deal among those leaked

As the Delhi Police and CBI probe two separate cases of documents being leaked from various ministries, it is now alleged that important documents related to the Jet-Etihad deal were leaked well before approval for it was given by the government.

And even as the full extent of the document leak is being probed, the government has gone into overdrive to ensure security on documents by getting officials across ministries to be more careful about how sensitive documents are handled.

More details are also emerging in the CBI probe into the leak of documents from ministries commerce and finance with a report now saying that details of the Jet-Etihad deal were leaked well before it was formally announced.

Reuters imageReuters image

Reuters image

Documents that detailed the communication between the ministry of finance, civil aviation, FIPB and market regulator Sebi as well as legal documents related to the deal were reportedly leaked ahead of the final approval being announced on 29 July, said a Times of India report.

“In this deal, all the papers, file notings, information about rivals, policy notes regarding FDI, FIPB approval, and communications at the level of finance secretary, minister and other officials were leaked,” an unnamed source was quoted as telling the paper.

The news comes even as the government issues a long list of guidelines for ministry officials intended to prevent the leaking of documents, of which the principal one seems to be that confidential documents are not only torn into ‘small bits’, but also collected and burnt.

To this effect, it has reportedly issued a list of 26 instructions and also launched a ‘re-sensitisation’ drive for the end of February which will detail just how government officials need to handle sensitive documents, reports the Indian Express.

These suggestions include telling people not to encourage rumours or talk too much about a confidential issue, not to keep classified maps displayed in offices, avoid keeping secret papers on desks, not making notes on confidential documents in diaries and locking offices behind them.

Apart from CISF taking over security and new cameras being installed at key ministries, officials have also been told to verify the character and security credentials of outsourced staff for all purposes.

The Rs 2058 crore deal, under which Etihad bought a stake in the Indian airline, is suspected to have been of interest to rival airlines since it could set a precedent for other cases in the future, according to the report.

The deal had come under a cloud after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had approached the Supreme Court against it.

The CBI has so far arrested five persons including an Under Secretary in the Department of Disinvestment and Grievances Ashok Kumar Singh, Assistant in FIPB section Ram Niwas, Section Officer in the Department of Economic Affairs Lala Ram Sharma, Mumbai based Chartered Accountant Khemchand Gandhi and Paresh, a partner in Chitale Law firm, that is also based in Mumbai.

The government officials are accused of passing on documents related to foreign investment policies, which were being floated in the ministries, to Gandhi, who in turn passed them on to big corporates for a price.

Sources in the CBI have said the probe so far has indicated that “first and second” levels of decision making in the Ministries of Finance and Commerce relating to foreign investments were allegedly “compromised”. CBI had also claimed that an official from a international consultancy group was under the scanner for procuring the documents from one of the accused.

CBI sources told PTI said that an official of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was allegedly procuring documents from the Department of Economic Affairs, under the Finance Ministry, through the chartered accountant arrested in Mumbai.

Officials in the investigating agency said it would probing the role of the consultancy group in detail to gather corroborative evidence and decipher the official-middleman-corporate nexus in getting hands on the confidential documents.

In a statement, PwC said that it had clarified its stand to the CBI. “Our manager met CBI officials today in connection with the FIPB applications filed by our clients and the official communication that we have exchanged with FIPB in this regard, in the normal course of business. Necessary clarification as asked for were provided,” the company said in a statement.

with inputs from PTI