A New Delhi court has sentenced a man behind a failed hijacking hoax on a Goa-Delhi flight in 2009 to life in prison. Jitender Kumar Mohla, 45, allegedly told passengers that he had a gun and infected needles. He managed to get into the cockpit, NDTV reported.
The crew and some passengers however overpowered Mohla, and he was arrested the next day The pilot made an emergency landing and the Delhi airport was sent on hijack alert, NDTV said. However, the hijacking turned out to be a "hoax," because Mohla didn't actually have the gun or infected needles.
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On Tuesday, the Indian court sentenced him to life in prison , saying it was adopting a "zero tolerance" approach to prevent similar incidents in the future, the Associated Press reported.
His family argues that the sentence is too harsh. “He is innocent. My husband Ashok Kumar Mohla is in the court right now. So, I can make no further comments on this matter,” Jitender’s mother told Indian Express. Jitender’s lawyer, Sharad Kapoor, said that the incident had been "blown out of proportion" and promises that he will appeal.