Editorial

Dismiss 2 BJP MPs for forcing flight take-off

It is appreciable that timely act of the Deoghar Police in Jharkhand inregistering an FIR against Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey, his two sons, another MP Manoj Tiwari and Deoghar airport director among nine others for allegedly entering the Air Traffic Control room at the Deoghar Airport without permission and creating pressure over officials for take-off on August 31 in spite of the fact that there is no night take-off or landing facility there.

The FIR was registered at Kunda police station on September 1 on the complaint of security in-charge Suman Anand who stated that the said persons violated all safety standards by entering the ATC room and forcing the officials for clearance to take-off.

The security in-charge has sought action against the pilot of the chartered plane, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, Kanishk Kant Dubey, Mahikant Dubey, MP Manoj Tiwari, Mukesh Pathak, Devta Pandey, Pintu Tiwary and Sandeep Dhingra, Airport Director.

The security in-charge, “nine people — Nishikant Dubey, Kanishk Kant Dubey, Mahikant Dubey, Manoj Tiwari, Kapil Mishra, Sheshadri Dubey, Sunil Tiwari and others had come to Deoghar by chartered plane at 1 pm on August 31. During his return in the evening, others including Dubey forcibly entered the ATC room.”

As per the complaint letter, at around 17:25 hrs passengers arrived at the airport to board their chartered plane. They were accompanied by other people who had come to see-off them.

The security in-charge further states in his letter that Deoghar airport doesn’t have an IFR facility i.e. night take-off and landing facility is not available.

On August 31, the local sunset timing was 18.03 hours… air services are to be conducted up to 17.30 hours.

“When I went into the ATC control room and noticed therein that Director of Airport Sandeep Dhingra and the pilot of chartered plane were already present in the Control Room. As the sunset time on August 31 was 18:03 hrs and that may be the reason the above mentioned chartered plane was denied clearance for take-off by ATC.

“The above-mentioned pilot was persuading the Airport Director Sandeep Dhingra and the ATC staff for clearance, citing that passengers had to return that day itself. The staff at ATC were communicating over mobile for take-off clearance.

The security in-charge has mentioned that he was shocked and alarmed due to the presence of passengers in the ATC room and such actions are a breach of the airport security standards.

“Security in-charge further noticed that the pilot and the passengers were pressurizing that they may be given clearance for the take-off. As a result, ATC clearance was given. After that, the passengers and the pilot came out of the ATC control room, walked towards the chartered plane, onboarded it. The plane took-off thereafter.

Meanwhile, Deoghar Deputy Commissioner in a letter to the Principal Secretary, Cabinet-Coordination (Civil Aviation), Jharkhand, explained the entire matter.

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey along with others entering ATC at Deoghar Airport without permission and creating pressure over officials for take-off clearance on August 31. In view of this security protocol violation, it may be noted that necessary action may be taken to avoid such incidents in the future. It’s also requested that the incident may be reported further to AAI, DGCA, BCAS, Secy Gen, Lok Sabha and Defence Ministry.

The BJP MPs Nishikant Dubey, Manoj Tiwari went to visit the family members of the Dumka girl who was set ablaze by a stalker.

Additionally, the incident has also sparked the Twitter war between Deoghar Deputy Commissioner Manjunath Bhajantri and Nishikant Dubey.

Manjunath claimed that the CCTV footage showed that on August 31, many other persons apart from the passengers entered the STC building violating the security norms. The Airport Authority gave directions to the airport director to take necessary arrangements for night landing, night take-off as these are not yet operational at the airport.

Countering Manjunath’s tweet, Nishikant Dubey asked him how did he check the CCTV footage going inside the airport. “This is the style of a criminal who forcibly breaks through the security cordon without permission. In what capacity did you enter the airport? Who gave you permission to watch CCTV? the nation asks.

To this, Manjunath adnuitted that “I had entered the Airport terminal after taking a legitimate entry pass. DC is also a Member on the Board of Directors of Deoghar Airport.” He asked who authorised Nishikant Dubey to enter the ATC room.

Nishikant Dubey admitted that as a chairman of the Airport Advisory Committee, he has the right to inspect and also he took the necessary permission from the Airport authorities.

“I am in High Court fighting a case for your delay in facilitating night landing facilities. You are in contempt of court,” Nishikant Dubey tweeted past midnight on Friday.

But, when the night landing facility/IFR is not there, and so many flights getting cancelled every other day, how did your chartered plane took off at 1817hours when the sunset time was 1803hours?.

I’d suggest you to study aviation rules again. As an IAS officer, the nation expects better from you. Now the matter is under investigation at all possible levels, please comment further only after reading aviation and airport rules carefully henceforth,” Dubey misleads.