Hoax bomb caller Sanjib Mishra arrested in Pune

Pune/Bhubaneswar: Pune Police on Saturday arrested a man named Sanjib Mishra here for making hoax call spreading a bomb scare in a Mumbai-bound Go Air flight to the authorities of the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

Sources said the Commissionerate Police will visit Pune and bring Mishra on remand if required.

Twin City Police Commissioner RP Sharma said, “We have established the identity of the hoax caller after tracing him from Pune. His name is Sanjib Mishra, a resident of Sailashree Vihar which comes under Chandrasekharpur police limits. He has been staying in Pune for last six months.”

Mishra, identifying himself as Mohapatra, made the call from mobile number 9439654031 to the Bhubaneswar airport and announced the presence of a bomb in the G8-243 Bhubaneswar-Mumbai GoAir flight.

After getting the call, the GoAir flight made an emergency landing at Nagpur. As many as 155 passengers on board, including 123 from Bhubaneswar, were quickly deplaned soon after the flight landed.

The Nagpur airport authorities confirmed the call was a hoax after the plane was checked and no suspicious object was found on it. After the relevant security clearances, the aircraft was permitted to depart at noon for the onward journey to Mumbai.

The flight had taken off from the Odisha capital at 8.20 a.m. and after getting the bomb threat was diverted to Nagpur in Maharashtra where it landed at 9.29 a.m.

The caller had also warned about bombs planted at the Bhubaneswar railway station and OTV office, which also turned out to be hoax calls.

Elaborating about the incident, Biju Patnaik International Airport director Sharad Kumar said, “Between 8.42-8.50 am, three hoax calls were made to the Terminal Manager. The caller said he will transport bombs in an Indigo or GoAir flight and explode the plane. He was using indecent language and speaking in a mix of Odia and Hindi.”

“The Terminal Manager told me about the calls and immediately the bomb threat assessment procedure was followed. We talked to the alliance organisations and airlines. Subsequently, the Bhubaneswar-Mumbai GoAir flight made an emergency landing at Nagpur and complete check was undertaken,” Kumar said.

He added, “The number from which the call was made has been given to police and the investigation is on. We have come to know the caller’s number was of BSNL service provider and later through number portability it was converted to Airtel.”

An air passenger from the city said, “I heard about the news. One of my friends was travelling in the GoAir flight. There was a lot of confusion and inconvenience to that flight.”

Expressing similar views, another air passenger said, “People in the GoAir flight were worried whether they would reach on time to catch a connecting flight or to attend an urgent work.”