That Biman aircraft to be in operation in 10 days | Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 28, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:36 AM, February 28, 2019

Biman plane was hit by two bullets

Says aviation secretary

The Boeing 737-800 Biman aircraft, which Polash Ahmed reportedly tried to hijack on Sunday, will resume operations within eight to ten days, Civil Aviation Secretary Mohibul Haque said yesterday.

He said the aircraft was hit by two bullets and a switchboard was damaged during the incident.

“It is very likely that the plane will be flown to Dhaka by tomorrow [today] for replacing the switchboard. The spare board has been brought from Boeing,” he told The Daily Star.

He added the damages were minimal.

Meanwhile, Chattogram court's Public Prosecutor Md Fakhruddin told the media that the plane could be used commercially after obtaining a court order.

Polash apparently tried to hijack the flight on Sunday, forcing an emergency landing in Chattogram's Shah Amanat International Airport

All 148 passengers were evacuated safely and the cabin crew members were also safe.

Afterwards, Polash was killed in an eight minute operation by members of the army para commando unit.

WHAT THE CCTV SHOWS

The slain suspected hijacker of Biman Bangladesh flight BG 147, Polash Ahmed, arrived at the Dhaka airport at 1:54pm on Sunday in a motorbike as a pillion rider.

A “distressed” looking Polash then roamed alone around the road outside the domestic terminal building for 40 to 50 minutes, according to a security official who watched the CCTV footage from the day.

He had a backpack at the time and did not speak to anybody else, the official added.

Afterwards, Polash, who was in his mid-20s, entered the domestic terminal building.

The suspect put his baggage through the x-ray baggage scanner, while an Ansar checked him with a handheld metal detector.

He, however, went through the inspection without taking off his belt, which is mandatory for every passenger.

Polash then collected a boarding pass for flight BG 147 which was initially scheduled to depart at 4:00pm, but finally left Dhaka at 5:13pm.

At one point, Polash entered a toilet where he spent around 15 to 20 minutes.

“Since the toilet is not under CCTV coverage, it is not clear what he did inside the toilet,” the official said.

Soon after, Polash boarded the Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which he allegedly attempted to hijack 15 to 20 minutes after it took off.

He waved a pistol -- which turned out to be a toy one -- and also carried what appeared to an explosive device, according to eye-witness and official accounts.

He threatened to destroy the aircraft if his demand to talk with the prime minister and his wife was not met.

Later, the pilot made an emergency landing in Chattogram where Polash was killed in the operation by the members of the army para commando unit.

Contradictory statements emerged following the incident.

Several passengers of the Boeing 737 on Sunday said there were gunshots in flight when the suspect made the hijacking attempt.

One official said the suspect was killed in a shootout in the plane while several others said his firearm was a toy.

At a TV talk-show the same day, State Minister for Aviation Mahbub Ali said he came to know that the suspect was carrying a “toy gun”.

But a day after, he told parliament that an armed passenger had tried to hijack a Biman Bangladesh Airlines aircraft bound for Dubai.   

Investigators later said it was a toy gun and the explosives were just small pieces of plastic pipes wrapped in red tape. 

Meanwhile, Chattogram Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Mahabubor Rahman yesterday told the media that investigators of the counterterrorism unit would quiz the pilot, co-pilot, crew members and passengers of the flight as part of their investigation into the hijack bid.

He also said they would examine all items, including a toy gun, recovered from the suspect.

Debabrata Sarker, technology assistant at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram, filed a case on Monday night with Patenga Police Station, in which he said the suspect was seen carrying suspicious-looking objects during the hijack bid 15 minutes after the plane took off from Dhaka.

The Counter Terrorism (CT) unit of CMP has been tasked with the investigation.

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