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Chilika chopper row: IMFA officials depose before Puri cops

Puri: The Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys (IMFA) Aviation authorities today appeared at the Marine police station in Arakhakuda in connection with the alleged flying of a chopper over the Chilika lake at a height less than 500ft causing threat to the sensitive ecosystem of the Ramsar site and breaching aviation rules.

The IMFA officials were questioned and had sought time to present more details in connection with the case. They will appear again before police on September 24.

While deposing before investigating officer IMFA Aviation authorities clarified on three issues.

Sources said that the officials said the cop that the chopper was flown at the prescribed altitude and had not landed in Chilika. It was elsewhere at the time mentioned in the FIR.

Puri police have summoned former MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda and his two friends for allegedly flying over the Chilika lake breaching aviation rules.

Based on the FIR lodged by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA), police have sought a report from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) about the chopper that flew over Chilika.

The police lodged an FIR following a complaint from the CDA with the Marine police station at Arakhakuda in Puri that the chopper had violated air rules and flew at a height less than 500ft threatening fishermen in the Chilika lagoon on Saturday.

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