Follow Us:

Jay Panda’s chopper seized for flying over Chilika lake — a no-flying zone

Odisha Police have sealed a private hangar used for his helicopter following a complaint; Jay Panda described the FIR and sealing of the hangar as “brazen attempt” to stop him from moving around

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

High flying former MP Baijayant Panda was “grounded” on Monday as the Odisha Police sealed a private hangar used for his helicopter following a complaint that it flew over the no-flying zone of Chilika on 15 September.

Panda, however, denied the charges.

The officials of Chilka Development Authority had lodged a complaint with the Marine police station at Puri. The charge was that the chopper had entered the ‘No Flying Eco Sensitive Zone’ at a low altitude.

The Biju Patnaik International Airport authorities here confirmed that the police had sealed a hangar of the IMFA company and also sought black box data on the flight profile.

Panda, meanwhile, described the FIR and sealing of the hangar as “brazen attempt” to stop him from moving around.

Though the FIR does not name him, Panda, in a series of tweets, narrated the sequence of events and said the Odisha govt was trying to “falsely implicate” him.

“Saw newsreports today of a Seaplane landing on Chilika lake at 1.30 PM on Sat (15th). Am now getting info that Odisha govt authorities are trying to twist the facts & falsely implicate & drag me into controversy!” Panda tweeted on Monday.

In another post, he added: “It so happens i had flown a *helicopter* on Saturday & at a totally different time! ATC records will show that:
> I flew from 8.45 AM over Rajhans-Puri-Konark & landed at Kendrapada at 10.28 AM.
> & I flew from Kendrapada at 12.50 PM, landing @ Bhubaneswar 1.30pm…”

Panda said in next tweet: “> Today a State Govt official filed an F.I.R, citing media reports (saying a Seaplane landed in Chilika at 1.30 PM) BUT changing description to “helicopter”
> F.I.R still says Chilika lending at 1.30 PM, when I’d landed in Bhubaneswar”

In a post that he has pinned on his profile, Panda added: “Latest
> A local cop from Puri has come to Bhubaneswar airport & “seized” the hangar & the helicopter i fly
> Clearly, facts have no bearing, & cops privately admit “orders from 3rd floor”
> Brazen attempt to handicap my movement around Odisha, but they cant stop me
#JaiJagannath”

“The cops who had come to seize the chopper told my staff that they were under pressure,” a Hindustan Times report quoted Panda as saying.

He said he had flown to Kendrapara on September 15 where he paid “condolence visits” to the parents of two children who had drowned in the village pond while playing.

The Kendrapara MP quit the ruling Biju Janata Dal in May this year alleging that he was being targeted.