Shimla : The Prime Minster security lapse issue has taken on political overtones with the BJP saying that had such an incident taken place in Gujarat, the state would have been blamed for the lapse.
Satyapal Jain, BJP election incharge for Himachal, said, â€œhow did the state administration allow an intruding helicopter to land so close to the Prime Ministerâ€™s helicopter. Had such an incident happened in Gujarat, Modi and BJP would have been squarely blamed and a lot of heads would have rolled,â€ he added.
On the other hand Air Deccan has disowned any lapse on their part for the Prime Ministerâ€™s security breech that occurred when one of their helicopters on election call with the congress party in Himachal landed close to the Air Force helicopters at Bilaspur, yesterday, at a time when the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on board one of them.
Capt GR Gopinath, managing director Air Deccan, in response to a query stated â€œWe have a couple of helicopters flying for Congress Party in Himachal.â€™
â€œThe pilot was asked by one of the congress leaders to land in Bilaspur and take him to Shimla at 1 p.m. The pilot filed the flight plan and obtained clearance from both ATC and Defence Ministry and landed at 1 p.m. He was not aware that the PMâ€™s helicopter was still in Bilaspur and is not at fault,â€™ said Gopinath.
â€œHe should not have been cleared to fly. There must be better coordination between various agencies monitoring the prime ministerâ€™s movements,â€ he adds.
Meanwhile the two pilots of the Air Deccan helicopter who were arrested for the security breech have been bailed out and the impounded helicopter has been released.
Bilaspur District police Chief Balbir Thakur said, â€œThe pilots were released on a Rs 50,000 bail bond and an equal amount as surety bond. The helicopter was released on a Rs 2 crore security bond.â€
Senior congressman RK Dhawan, for whom the private helicopter was allegedly requisitioned to Bilaspur, was not available for comments.
As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post.
Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.