Investigations into the fire-cracker-on-plane incident has revealed that some ground handlers working at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport were responsible for placing the firecracker on the Kingfisher aircraft.

Following “intra-personnel enmity” among the ground handlers at the Thiruvananthapuram airport, some of them had conspired and placed the firecracker on the plane to put their rival colleagues in a spot, highly placed sources in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) told The Hindu on Friday.

Meanwhile, three ground handlers were detained at the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA), while they were trying to board a flight to Afghanistan on Wednesday.

The three, employed at the Thiruvananathapuram airport were detained by the CISF personnel at the BIA, following an alert sounded by the Kerala police. Subsequently, the CISF handed them over to the Kerala police. The detained persons were planning to reach Afghanistan via the Middle East.

The Kerala police are reportedly investigating whether they had any links with terrorist outfits. The three were not transfer passengers but had reached the BIA through some other means, the sources said.

A firecracker that was wrapped in a Thiruvananthapuram edition of a Malayalam newspaper was found on a Kingfisher flight which originated from the BIA, after it reached Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday morning.

Sources said the cracker was indeed placed on the aircraft at Thiruvananthapuram and not at the BIA.

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