The Kolkata airport was put on high alert for a while after two passengers on a Spice Jet flight were heard “talking about hijacking” on Wednesday.
Flight SG 208, which was flying to Dhaka from Delhi via Kolkata, made “priority landing” at the N S C Bose International Airport after its captain made a request to the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) at around 11.50 am and reported that two passengers were behaving suspiciously.
CNN-IBN reports that the two passengers turned out to be a man and a woman traveling to Dhaka. They aroused suspicion because the woman was wearing a burqa and both were heard “talking about hijacking”.
The two passengers were detained after landing and are currently being interrogated by senior police officials at the airport manager’s cabin. The couple’s travel papers were found in order and they will probably be released in a while.
PTI reports co-passengers suspected that woman because of her large physique. The aircraft landed at the airport at around noon and was immediately cordoned off on the runway by Central Industrial Security Force, the bomb squad, the fire brigade and the police.
The aircraft was immediately taken to an isolation bay and was surrounded by CISF personnel, the bomb squad, fire brigade and the police, the sources said. The burqa-clad passenger and another person sitting next to her were offloaded and the aircraft searched, the sources said.
Flights at the airport remained unaffected. There was no hijack threat to the SpiceJet aircraft, a Civil Aviation Ministry spokesperson said in New Delhi. Two passengers, including the woman, were taken by the police for questioning, she said.
The emergency procedures, including meetings of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the Crisis Management Group, which are followed in case of a hijack alert were not pursued, official sources said.