Odisha

Odisha: Did Jay Panda’s Chopper Fly Over Puri & Konark Temples?

**Bhubaneswar:** A video posted on Twitter by one Abhijit Iyer Mitra, reportedly a close associate of former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda, shows a chopper flying over Puri Srimandir and Konark Sun Temple, both of which are restricted zones.

Posted on September 15, Iyer’s tweets proudly boast of a helicopter ‘circumambulating’ the Puri Jagannath temple. Along with the 17 seconds video, Iyer has tweeted, “Astounding how big it is and how the whole city is centered around it.”

In another tweet on the same day, Iyer posted a bird’s eye view of the Konark Sun Temple.

The tweets coincides with the date (September 15) on which Baijayant Panda had flown his helicopter over Rajhans-Puri-Konark.

Meanwhile, Panda’s tweet yesterday reads, “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 at Bhubaneswar 1.30 pm.”

Panda has landed in a soup as police seized his IMFA chopper on charges of making an undeclared landing on the Chilika lake, which is an Eco Sensitive Zone, on Saturday.

Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi said, “On Saturday, a seaplane landed in Chilika that had scared the people and disturbed the ecosystem. We contacted Airport (Bhubaneswar) Director to check who had taken permission to operate in the zone.”

“According to the information given by the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) Director, ex-MP Panda had taken permission to fly over Rajhans-Puri-Konark along with two of his co-passengers. Therefore, we have seized the chopper unit till further investigation is conducted,” he concluded.

Both Puri and Konark are sensitive zones that people of Odisha attach a lot of sentiment with. These social media videos only prove the irresponsibility of the people aboard the chopper at that time.

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