New Delhi: Delhi Police have arrested a 24-year-old man for making a hoax bomb call at the SpiceJet call centre in Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport, an official said on Friday.
A Pune-bound SpiceJet flight at the IGI airport was evacuated and thoroughly searched after a call about the presence of bomb in the aircraft was received on Thursday evening.
The accused has been identified as Abhinav Prakash, a resident of Dwarka, working as a trainee ticketing agent of British Airways at DLF Qutub Plaza, Gurugram, for the last seven months. He reportedly made the hoax call to delay the departure of his friends’ ‘girlfriends’ who were on board the said flight.
The police said that the manhunt has been launched to nab two other accused persons, who are on the run.
According to Ravi Kumar Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI), information was received on Thursday evening at the SpiceJet call centre in IGI airport regarding a bomb ‘planted’ on a flight set to depart for Pune at 9.30pm.
“The CISF control room was immediately alerted, along with the IGI airport police station. Keeping in view the gravity of the call, the CISF personnel immediately swung into action and a coordination meeting of all the stakeholders was held as the bomb threat was specific,” said the DCP.
The SpiceJet flight had 182 passengers and crew members on board, who were immediately taken to the isolation bay.
“All the passengers and their luggage were thoroughly checked by the CISF. The aircraft was also thoroughly checked, but no suspicious item or article was found. After securing the flight and ensuring the safety of all the passengers, the security personnel at the airport examined the SpiceJet officials,” the officer said.
During probe, the police through technical surveillance obtained ownership of the number from which the hoax call had originated. It was registered in the name Abhinav Prakash, who was subsequently apprehended.
On interrogation, Prakash told the police that his childhood friends, Rakesh and Kunal Sehrawat, recently went on a road trip to Manali where they befriended two girls. Both the girls were departing to Pune in the same SpiceJet flight.
“Prakash’s friends told him that they wanted to spend some more time with the girls and instigated him to find out a plan to somehow delay their departure from Delhi. In pursuance of the instigation, all the three formulated a malicious plan of making a hoax bomb call at the call centre of Spicejet with an ulterior motive of getting the flight cancelled,” said the DCP.
Prakash made the call saying “there is a bomb in the flight”, and when the Spicejet officials tried to reach him, he didn’t answer their calls.
“The accused, to boost their false bravado, also contacted the girls, who were on board the flight. They even celebrated the execution of their malevolent act,” the DCP said.
“When Kunal and Rakesh came to know that Prakash has been arrested, they fled from their addresses and are presently absconding. Efforts are on to nab them,” the officer added.