Officer checks PM’s chopper, suspended


Bhubaneshwar:┬áThe Election Commission Wednesday suspended an officer posted as general observer in Odisha for allegedly checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter in Sambalpur in violation of norms.

Mohammed Mohsin, a 1996-batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer, has not acted in conformity with the EC’s instructions concerning Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees, according to an order issued by the commission.

The action against the officer came a day after the prime minister’s visit to Sambalpur.

The EC took the action against the general observer of Sambalpur on the basis of a report from the district collector and the deputy inspector general of police.

The prime minister was stated to have been held up at the place for around 15 minutes because of the sudden checking, an official said.

“Checking of the prime minister’s chopper, undertaken at Sambalpur, was not in accordance with the EC guidelines as SPG protectees are exempt from such checking,” said the official without elaborating.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s helicopter was also checked by EC flying squad personnel in Rourkela on Tuesday.

A similar check was carried out on Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s chopper at Sambalpur Tuesday by the flying squad, sources said.