Mangaluru airport fiasco: Two passengers booked

Published - August 15, 2022 08:12 pm IST - MANGALURU

The Mangaluru city police filed a case against two flight passengers on Sunday after their WhatsApp chat created a scare and delayed the departure of Mumbai-bound flight at the Mangaluru International Airport.

The police gave the names of the passengers as Dipayan Manji, 23, and his friend Simran Tom, 23, both hailing from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.

The police said that Mr. Manji, graduate from an institute in Manipal, had come along with Ms. Tom a couple of days ago. On Sunday, the two came to the airport. Around 11 a.m., Mr. Manji proceeded to catch a flight to Mumbai, while Ms. Tom was waiting at the terminal building for her flight to Bengaluru.

During the conversation on WhatsApp with Mr. Manji, who was in the aircraft that was scheduled to leave, Ms. Tom told Mr. Manji that the latter was a bomber. One of the lines of the chat read: “...Among all the Muslims You’re the bomber...” Mr. Manji’s co-passenger Simran Shetty, who was in the rear seat, oversaw the conversation and confronted Mr. Manji. She then alerted the aircraft crew, who passed on the information to personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force, who carried out a thorough search of the plane before permitting the flight to depart in the evening at 5 p.m.

On the complaint by K.P. Bopanna, the station manager of Indigo Airlines, Mangaluru, the Bajpe police booked Mr. Manji and Ms. Tom for offence punishable under Section 505 (1)(b) and (c) of IPC. The two were questioned and a notice issued asking the two to appear at a later date. They were not arrested, the police said.

The case has been filed against the two on the basis that their chat was conducive to public mischief and which was likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public or which was likely to incite, any class or community to commit any offence against any other class or community.

Earlier, on Sunday, the two had reportedly told the security agencies that it was just a joke during a casual chat between them and they did not mean it literally.

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