Munde’s supporters thrash helicopter pilot

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helicopter-pilotSenior BJP leader Gopinath Munde is facing the heat after his flight crew complained that the helicopter pilot and engineer were beaten up by his supporters. The pilot had reportedly refused Munde’s last minute change in flight plans saying that he needed clearance.
The DGCA has condemned the incident but said that it has no authority to send a notice to Munde. The DGCA has said that it will write to all state governments for extra security for crew members assigned to campaigns.
Munde, who is seeking a fresh term, had come to the Police Grounds in Beed on Thursday by a helicopter from Mumbai. He was supposed to go to Radi village in Ambajogai to address a rally where the villagers had made a helipad for Munde’s helicopter to land near the rally spot. However, the helicopter’s pilot refused to fly from Beed to the rally spot in Radi village citing fuel shortage and other reasons.
A BJP youth leader, who was present at the spot, said Munde angrily left the police grounds after the helicopter pilot refused to fly further.
The supporters had told the pilot that he should have carried their ‘saheb’ to the rally spot. To which the pilot then apparently replied that he (Munde) might be ‘saheb’ for the supporters, not for him.
The supporters were angered by this and three of them allegedly beat the pilot up. When contacted, District Collector Naval Kishor Ram said that Munde was not at the spot where the incident occurred.
The pilot has not given any complaint in this regard, he said. However, a police officer, who was on duty at the spot, has given a report to the police department, Ram said, adding that “We will take action after getting the report.”
Beed Superintendent of Police (SP) Naveen Chandra Reddy also said that the pilot has not made any complaint and he could not be contacted by police. He said based on the report, an FIR will be lodged in the matter.