The state government has taken a decision to refrain VIPs from using private helicopters. The decision comes after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had a narrow escape when he was trying board a helicopter at Alibaug in Raigad district. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will be tightening the security of VIPs in the aftermath of CM’s helicopter snag incidents.
According to sources, “A probe has already been ordered to ascertain the cause of Raigad chopper incident. Officials will be investigating whether there were any security lapses which resulted into the accident.”
This has been the third incident in two months when Fadnavis has had a helicopter scare. In the first incident, the CM’s helicopter had witnessed a technical problem at Gadchiroli on 12th May. He also escaped from another accident when a helicopter that carried him crashed at Latur on May 25. Thus henceforth Fadnavis will have to travel in a government plane. At locations where planes can’t land the CM can commute in a car.
Fadnavis had gone to Alibaug for celebrating Jayant Patil’s birthday and inauguration of a theatre. When the CM tried to enter inside the helicopter it began to take off. He was seated below the fan which was running fast and there was a possibility of it hitting his head. A high-power committee headed by chief secretary Sumit Mullick decided to suspend helicopter travel. Later senior security guard and police officials rescued Fadnavis. The helicopter later on was landed and its fans were examined. Later on Fadnavis once again boarded the helicopter and left for Mumbai.
“The state government’s civil aviation department and home officials will investigate for ascertaining the cause of the accident. If they need help, the director general of civil aviation will step in,” said sources.
Meanwhile the Chief Minister’s Office had denied about occurrence of any incident involving his chopper in which he was said to have escaped unhurt.
“Rumours are being spread that the CM’s helicopter was involved in an accident. There was no such accident. People should not believe rumours,” it said.
Meanwhile union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale sought a probe into the two incidents involving Fadnavis’s chopper, in which he escaped unhurt.
“The chief minister got involved in accidents twice within a span of two months. There should be an in-depth inquiry to ascertain if there was an deliberate attempt made to harm him or if it was a lapse in his security,” said Athawale .