Being dragged into controversy out of political vendetta: Jay Panda

Bhubaneswar: In the name of investigation into allegations of flying helicopter over Chilika Lake, Odisha Police is sending confusing and contradictory summons, said former Kendrapara MP Baijayat Panda today.

Panda, who took to twitter to highlight such discrepancies in notices sent to him by police, asserted that he was initially summoned by the Inspector-in-charge of Puri Sadar Police Station, who is also the in-charge of Arakhakuda Marine Police Station, to appear on September 21. The notice was received by the former Parliamentarian on September 19.

However, Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi in his interview to media informed that notice has been issued to appear on September 24.

In his reply to the concerned investigating officer through a letter, Panda wrote, “It appears, that a deliberate attempt is being made to mislead me by issuing contradictory notices and giving contradictory public statements. In any event, since I was informed and subsequently handed over the notice issued for September 24, I arranged my affairs in a manner that I am unable to appear before you in person.”

In his letter, Panda further presented detailed information regarding his flight from Bhubaneswar airport at 8:30 AM on September 15 overfly Rajhans-Puri-Konark and his subsequent landing at Garadpur in Kendrapara.

Panda claimed that the helicopter he captained last Saturday was nowhere near Chilika and the facts revealed by police in public domain clearly show that the FIR is only designed to malign his image.

The former Parliamentarian also said that though the allegations are against one helicopter, police have allegedly seized and sealed 3 helicopters parked at IMFA hanger.

“The present case has been foisted against me out of political vendetta, as I am not pulling on well with the ruling party. Time and again attempts have been made to put me in trouble and tarnish my image before the estimation of general public by one way or the other, but they could not be successful,” Panda mentioned.

In his letter, Panda further wrote that the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which is the most competent authority to investigate any aviation incidents or deviations, is carrying out an investigation into the alleged incident.

“If it is determined that police will not await the result of the DGCA inquiry, then at least four weeks be granted for my presence, by which time all my statements to DGCA would be complete,” read Panda’s letter.

Utkal Bharat party chief Kharavela Swain, Kharavel Swain said, “I urge CM Naveen Patnaik not to be revengeful as such things happen in democracy. One who is friend today can be an enemy tomorrow. But it doesn’t imply that if you have power, you can harass anyone.”

While responding to Swain’s statements, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb advised the former to concentrate on his own party affairs instead of advocating for others.