Stowaway being quizzed in Jaipur (Lead)

December 27th, 2009 - 6:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, Dec 27 (IANS) Even as investigating agencies were questioning a man who travelled on an Air India flight from Medina to Jaipur by hiding in a toilet, the local police here said they were planning to file a case of negligence against the airlines.
A police official, speaking on condition he was not named, described the incident as “gross negligence” on the part of AI.

“Prima facie the negligence seems to be of AI staff. The crew members usually check the cockpit and toilet before take offÂ… but in this case it seems nothing was checked,” the official said, adding that the authorities or the crew members did not alert the air traffic controller even after they discovered the stowaway.

“We arrested the person after immigration authorities informed us here in Jaipur,” he added.

“We are thinking of filing a case against the airlines,” he added.

Meanwhile, the state intelligence bureau has started investigations on how the man, identified as Habib Hussain, 25, managed to board the Air India flight from Medina in Saudi Arabia to Jaipur and hide inside the toilet undetected for around 30-40 minutes.

Hussain told police that he is a resident of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh.

“We are questioning Habib Hussain on how he managed to breach the security and was able to travel without papers and proper document from Medina to Jaipur,” a state IB official said.

“We have asked his family members from the address he has given to us to come here and verify and identify the person,” the official said.

His relatives are expected to arrive in Jaipur later Sunday.

Hussain is being interrogated in a Special Operations Group office situated in Jhalana Doongri area of Jaipur.

An Air India official in New Delhi said the worker had told police, after being taken off the plane when it landed in Jaipur, that he was being harassed by his employers at Medina airport and had therefore sneaked onto the plane to return to India.

The police have filed a case against Hussain under the Passport (Entry into India) Act.

“We have filed a case against him and we are also planning to question the crew members and some of the passengers on the flight,” police added.

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