Baijayant Panda’s helicopter seized for flying over Chilika Lake

Bhubaneswar: The helicopter of former MP Baijayant Panda has been seized for allegedly flying low over the Chilika Lake on September 15.

The police have seized the hanger belonging to IMFA, a company owned by Panda’s family, to ascertain from the black box about its flight profile and whether it has landed in Chilika or it has flown very low over the sanctuary, said Biju Patnaik International Airport director.

Suspecting the aircraft landing or flying low over the sanctuary area and applying Wildlife Protection Act, state police have sealed the hanger and requested for black box data, said the airport director.

There were reports that a seaplane had landed on the Chilika Lake on Saturday without any prior approval that spread panic among the locals.

Reacting to the development, Baijayant Panda said the state government is trying to twist the facts and falsely implicate and drag him into controversy.

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

“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 can’t stop,” he further tweeted.