Hoax call delays 3 flights at City airport

Hoax call delays 3 flights at City airport

 Panic gripped the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and three international flights were delayed following a bomb hoax in the early hours of Saturday.

Reiterated through a WhatsApp message, the threat also led to the immediate recall of an Air France flight from mid-air and a massive frisking at the airport, causing much discomfort to passengers.

The airport police later traced the call to M J Gokul, an employee of a prominent IT company residing at HSR Layout. He was subsequently arrested and a case was registered against him.

The trouble began around 1:40 am, when the KIA authorities received a call and WhatsApp message claiming that bombs were planted on three aircraft. While a Lufthansa flight (LH 755) and Saudi Arabia Airlines flight (SV 5643) were yet to take off, the Paris-bound Air France flight (AF 191) had already taken off.

Barring the French aircraft, the other two flights took off after a thorough search, which saw the scare to be a hoax. The Air France flight was rescheduled to fly at 10.55 pm due to  operational issues in the Paris airport. 

Central Industrial Security Force personnel, KIA officials and police officials rushed to the spot along with the anti-sabotage team and dog squad. They checked all the three flights before confirming the hoax.

The probe indicated that a love affair could have been the motive behind the call.
“We carried out an intensified search to make sure that every corner of the flights and the airport were scrutinised. We took the mobile number from which the hoax call was made and started tracking it down. Two persons residing in a flat in HSR Layout were picked up and interrogated,” said a senior police official.

Here’s what sparked the police suspicion of a love angle: The caller, Gokul, was residing with his friend Joseph (name changed) and his wife in an apartment at HSR Layout. A police source said: “They are all natives of Kerala working for top multi-national companies.

One of the angles being probed is that Gokul fell in love with Joseph's wife. He had made up his mind to somehow get married to Joseph's wife. He tried various ways but failed. He finally decided that making a hoax call from Joseph's mobile would get him arrested immediately and his path would be cleared.”

Accordingly on Saturday, Gokul sent a Whatsapp message and made a hoax call from a SIM card that belonged to Joseph. Now it is being investigated whether he had acquired a new SIM card by submitting the documents of Joseph or stole the latter’s mobile phone. “This particular angle is being further probed and there might be other angles into this,” the officer said.

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