Spicejet flight makes priority landing in Kolkata; two passengers detained

Burqa-clad passenger refused to show her face for identification

Spicejet flight makes priority landing in Kolkata; two passengers detained

Sources quoting airport Director R Srinivasan said the Delhi-Kolkata-Dhaka Spicejet flight 208 with 123 passengers on board landed at  Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport around noon after the pilot was given clearance by the Air Traffic Control to make a priority landing.

 The aircraft was taken to an isolation bay and personnel from the Central Industrial Security Force, the bomb squad, fire brigade and police surrounded it.  
Crew members apprehensive of a terror plot, grew suspicious of the movements of a burqa-clad passenger and another co-passenger.

The couple, who were bound for Dhaka, was reported to be from Chechnya, a Russian province. The burqa-clad woman Irbanieva Eieonora (42) and her 50-year-old husband Aslan Bekov Arthur were taken to the office of the airport manager where they were questioned.

Both were Russian passport holders and their papers were found to be in order, the sources said. Police and CISF men entered the cabin and after initial interrogation, offloaded both the passengers and the aircraft was thoroughly searched.
The burqa-clad passenger, however, turned out to be a woman, sources said. Her large physique made the crew suspect that she was actually a man.

Since her identity could not be verified on board following her persistent refusal to remove the burqa, the pilot took no risk and sought permission from the ATC to make a priority landing. She and another passenger are being questioned by police as to why she refused to oblige the cabin crew.

No hijack threat
Meanwhile, sources quoting a Civil Aviation Ministry spokesperson clarified that there was no hijack threat to the SpiceJet aircraft.

The emergency procedures, including meetings of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the Crisis Management Group, followed in case of a hijack alert were not pursued, official sources said.
DHNS & Agencies

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