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Frustrated flyer arrested after tweeting ‘hijack’ to Indian Prime Minister

A Jet Airways flight seen at Mumbai airport in India, September 29, 2006.
A Jet Airways flight seen at Mumbai airport in India, September 29, 2006. Ritesh Uttamchandani/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

It’s hardly shocking when an airline passenger expresses disgruntlement at a flight delay, but one Indian traveller took things a step too far — and got arrested for his troubles.

Nitin Verma, 35, grew impatient when his Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to New Delhi sat idle on the tarmac for three hours after passengers had boarded.

The delay was attributed to air traffic congestion, but Verma let his frustration spill over onto the Twitterverse in ill-advised fashion, tweeting at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and complaining that his flight looked like it had been hijacked.

Jet Airways promptly replied to his tweet, saying, “Hi Nitin, our flight 9W 355 has been delayed due to air traffic congestion at Delhi.”

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But that didn’t stop Verma’s original tweet from sending the Prime Minister’s office and the Airports Authority of India into a tizzy, with security forces even carrying out a thorough search of Mumbai airport, the Times of India reports.

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The flight eventually took off but was diverted to the city of Jaipur, where Verma was picked up by police and questioned for three hours. He faces criminal intimidation charges.

This is the second time in just over a week that Indian airports were put in a heightened state of alert due to somebody imprudently invoking the word “hijack.” Last Friday, a 32-year-old man from the southern city of Hyderabad was arrested after he attempted to craft a hijack hoax to get out of a vacation with his online mistress.