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Mentally ill air traveller says 'hijack', arrested on Vistara flight

Mentally ill air traveller says hijack, arrested on Vistara flight

A 23-year-old man from Haryana was arrested on board Vistara flight UK-996 from Mumbai to Delhi after he mentioned the word 'hijack' on a phone call.

Ritesh Sanjaykukar Juneja was allegedly discussing a hijacking with someone over the phone. Police later said that the investigation revealed that he is mentally ill, reported The Indian Express. The incident took place on Thursday and he was arrested early on Friday.

"Relevant authorities were immediately informed and the said customer was handed over to them," said a Vistara spokesperson.

"We confirm there was an incident concerning an unruly passenger on Vistara flight UK 996 scheduled to operate from Mumbai to Delhi on 22 June 2023 at 1830 hrs. In line with the guidelines and our standard operating procedures (SOPs), relevant authorities were immediately informed and the said customer was handed over to them," said the company statement.

"We are fully cooperating with the security agencies in the investigation. Vistara stands firm with its zero-tolerance policy against unruly behaviour that endangers the safety and security of its customers and staff," it added.

According to the cabi crew Neha Rajesh Kumar Soni who overheard the conversation, Juneja said: "Ahmedabad ka flight board karnewala hai, koi bhi dikkat ho toh mujhe call karna, hijack ka sara planning hai, uska sara access hai, chinta mat karna (Scheduled to board Ahmedabad fight…if you have any issue call me…all planning is for hijack…have its access, don’t worry)."

A police officer from the Sahar police station said: "Juneja’s act terrorised the crew and passengers on the flight hence on the airline’s complaint, a case was registered against him under sections 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 505-2 (public mischief) of Indian Penal Code."

The police are further investigating the matter.

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