Chopper row: Jay Panda & Co summoned to appear before Odisha cops

Puri: The Puri police today served a notice to former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Jay Panda, who is accused of flying over the Chilika lake in Odisha, to appear before them by 12 PM tomorrow (Sept 19).

The police also served notices to two other persons, who were in the chopper when Panda was allegedly trying to fly over a “restricted” area of the Chilika lagoon.

Addressing a press conference here, Puri Superintendent of Police Sarthak Sarangi said they have served notices to the politician and his two co-passengers to appear before the police tomorrow to record their versions.

To a query whether that chopper belongs to Panda or anyone else flew, the SP said as per the data provided by Bhubaneswar airport director, he (Panda) had taken permission to fly on that day. “The airport data shows the IMFA’s chopper hovered over the Chilika lagoon on Sept 15,” he added.

The SP further informed that that Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will probe into the allegations against Panda flying in ‘no flying zone’ over Chilika lake.

The black box data from the chopper will be investigated to establish its flight details and whether it had flown low over sanctuary, he said.

Panda, who had a bitter exit from the ruling BJD recently, kept on denying the allegation, tweeted that he had flown a helicopter at a totally different time. Airport records reportedly show that the chopper landed in Bhubaneswar at 1.26 pm.

Meanwhile, many BJD MLAs staged a protest near the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the premises of the Odisha Legislative Assembly demanding Panda’s arrest.

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