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Mid-air scare for Rahul: Police awaiting experts' report

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Press Trust of India Bengaluru
Police probing the technical snag in the plane carrying Congress president Rahul Gandhi are waiting for technical experts to examine the flaws and submit a report, even as a senior airport official maintained that there was nothing "unusual" in the aircraft's landing at Hubballi.
On a complaint filed by a close aide of Gandhi with Karnataka Director General of Police (DGP) Neelamani N Raju, an FIR was lodged under IPC sections 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), the police said.
"We are waiting for the experts from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to come as we have no technical knowledge on the subject.
"Based on their report, we will take further action," Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), North Hubballi, H K Pathan, who is the investigating officer in the case, said.
The aircraft stationed at the Hubballi airport would be examined, he added.
Meanwhile, Hubballi Airport Director Ahalya S K continued to maintain that there was nothing unusual in the manner in which the plane had landed yesterday.
"The plane had landed safely and nobody had complained to me about anything," she told PTI.
In Bengaluru, state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the police were investigating the matter.
In his complaint to the DGP, Gandhi's aide Kaushal Vidyarthi had demanded a probe into the "suspicious and faulty performance" of the aircraft before it landed at the Hubballi airport in north Karnataka.
The complaint said the plane had suddenly tilted heavily on the left side and the altitude had dipped steeply with a violent shuddering of the aircraft when the weather was normal and not windy.
"It was apparent from the suspicious and faulty performance of the aircraft that the incidents of shuddering and altitude dipping were not natural or weather-related, but were due to some technical snag...
"Serious questions related to intentional tampering with the aircraft cannot also be brushed aside and are requested to be addressed and investigated," the complaint said.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) general secretary Shakir Sanadi has also filed a complaint with the Hubballi police, naming the two pilots of the plane.
A senior DGCA official had yesterday said the operator had reported the incident to them.
According to the operator's report, it was a snag in the auto-pilot mode and the pilot had shifted to the manual mode and the aircraft had landed safely.
Gandhi is on a two-day visit to poll-bound Karnataka to campaign for the Congress candidates in the districts of Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Mysuru.

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First Published: Apr 27 2018 | 6:05 PM IST

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