EX -MP Jay Panda Summoned By Odisha Police For Allegedly Flying Chopper Over Chilika Lake: Panda Denies The Allegation

FORMER ruling BJP MP from Kendrapara Baijayant Panda is in a soup with his two co-passengers after he was summoned along with them by the Odisha Police to record their statement for flying his chopper low over lake Chilika.  Chilika Lake ,near pilgrim city Puri  has been declared a non-fly  zone for the preservation of  Asia’s largest brackish water lake. The Chilika Development Authority has lodged a case with the Marine police station Arakhkuda on Monday on   allegations that a chopper reportedly piloted by Panda on September 15 flew very low over the lake, a “No Fly Zone”.A CDA official in his FIR had alleged that a white coloured chopper had ‘attempted to land’ in Chilika and hovered over the lake for quite some time at 1.30 pm  IST . The police also sealed the hangar of IMFA, the company founded by Panda’s father.In a series of tweets later,Panda questioned how he flew over the lake at 1.30 pm when he was already back in Bhubaneswar by 1.26 pm. “First it was a seaplane.. 48 hrs later it became a helicopter..it “landed” on “no-fly zone” lake at 1.30 pm. But wait, ATC records show it was parked at Bhubaneswar airport then,” he tweeted.Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi said Panda and two co-passengers — senior fellow of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies Abhijit Iyer-Mitra and senior journalist Aarti Singh Tikoo — have been asked to present themselves at the Puri Sadar police station on Wednesday noon for recording of statement under various sections of the CrPC, IPC and the Aircraft Act.“On September 15, the only flight that flew close to Chilika lake was Panda’s chopper. After an FIR was lodged by the CDA, we sealed the airport hangar where the chopper is parked and have asked the Airports Authority of India for the chopper’s Cockpit Data Recorder. The AAI said they would have to seek DGCA’s permission before handing us the data that would make it clear at what height the chopper was over Chilika lake,” said SP Sarangi. Meanwhile, the controversy over the chopper ride continued with BJD MLAs staging a dharna near the Gandhi statue of Odisha Assembly demanding arrest of Panda and Abhijit Iyer-Mitra. The MLAs said Mitra has made distasteful remarks on Konark Sun Temple in his Twitter thread. Abhijit responded saying it was sarcasm that was lost on the people.(image courtesy : scroll.in)

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