DGCA clean chit to Jay Panda: Hangar unsealed, but Puri cops seal 1 helicopter

Bhubaneswar: It seems that Puri Police is not willing to accept the Director General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) report which recently dismissed charges brought against former Kendrapara MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda’s helicopter ride over Chilika Lake.

Though a team of Puri Police on Monday unsealed the IMFA hangar inside the Bhubaneswar airport after 42 days, the police team, using the alibi of further probe sealed one of three choppers parked inside the hangar.

The hangar was unsealed by a police team led by the Inspector-in-charge of Marine Police station and one SDPO rank officer today.

It is being alleged that Puri Police instead of following the law is acting at the behest of third floor.

“We have unsealed the hangar and one helicopter has been sealed. Our investigation is still on as we are waiting for the DGCA report,” said Puri SDPO, Sushil Mishra.

The way the entire hangar was sealed even though allegations were brought against one helicopter and subsequently unsealing of the hangar and the sealing one helicopter clearly shows that such attempts are being taken just to curtail the movement of Jay Panda and harass him.

Many believe that the move to unseal the hangar comes after Puri Police was left red-faced after DGCA gave a clean chit to the former Parliamentarian in a report submitted to the authorities of Bhubaneswar airport.

IMFA Aviation Head, Himanshu Mohapatra on the other hand stated that “The work done by police should have been done much earlier. As two other helicopters were sealed even if allegations had come against one. We will inspect the helicopters and then only what damage has been caused can be ascertained.”

In its letter, the DGCA after conducting a detailed investigation observed that there was no violation of rules and regulations and clarified that there was no deviation in the filed flight plan timings and actual timings.

“Based on fact and evidence, it could not be established that the helicopter has flown dangerously below the assigned altitude or have landed at Chilika Lake on September 15, 2018,” the DGCA letter read.

Despite getting the DGCA report, Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi on October 27 stated that more clarification would be sought regarding the altitude of the flying.

“Today, police have unsealed the IMFA hangar. We usually want more and more flight services from the airport,” said director of Bhubaneswar airport, Suresh Chandra Hota.