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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Opposing the deliberate attempt to trouble and harass him, former Kendrapara MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda has sought the intervention of Odisha DGP, RP Sharma in releasing the helicopter which was recently sealed again by Puri Police.

In a letter, Panda asserted that already the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which is the only authorised and statutory body in India to investigation all aviation incidents, had conducted a detailed investigation and concluded that ,’there was no violation of DGCA rules and regulations’.

The DGCA had provided a copy of its investigation report to all concerned officials including Puri Police, authorities of Biju Patnaik International Airport and Odisha government on October 25.

Prior to this, Arakhakuda Marine Police, Puri on September 17 had sealed IMFA hangar inside Bhubaneswar airport based on the complaint filed by Binod Acharya alleging that Jay Panda’s chopper flew at low altitude over Chilika Lake on September 15.

Though allegations were brought against one helicopter (VT-BDP), other two choppers (VT-ILA & VT- BBI) inside the hangar were also sealed by the investigating officer.

Despite repeated requests that helicopters require periodic check-ups for cleaning and maintenance from corrosion, dust and high humidity, no step was taken by police administration to allow for maintenance and operation of at least two other helicopters against which there were no allegations, Panda wrote in his letter.

The hangar remained sealed for nearly 42 days and police administration did not allow regular maintenance of the helicopters on the pretext of awaiting report from DGCA.

Subsequently, a police team unsealed the IMFA hangar and two helicopters VT-ILA & VT-BBI were released while another chopper VT-BDP was again sealed on October 29 after three days of submission of DGCA report. This time the helicopter was sealed on the pretext of seeking clarification from DGCA regarding the altitude of the flying, Panda highlighted.

“From such facts and circumstances, it is crystal clear that attempts have been made by police to trouble and harass. I urge you to personally intervene and give appropriate direction to end this type of blatant harassment and release the helicopter VT-BDP,” Panda wrote in his letter.

Further Panda stated that the delay would result in severe financial implications on its maintenance costs and future safety and would attract on the police and State government personnel both financial liabilities as well as charges of mala fide intent.

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