Samajwadi leader’s helicopter crash lands in Uttar Pradesh (Lead)

March 22nd, 2009 - 11:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, March 22 (IANS) A private helicopter carrying Samajwadi Party leader Raghuraj Pratap Singh, also known as Raja Bhaiya, crash landed on a highway in Uttar Pradesh Sunday evening, the police said. The politician escaped with injuries.
The accident occured at Dhimi village under Hathgawan police circle of Pratapgarh district, near Allahabad. Earlier reports said the helicopter crash landed in the Ganga.

A former minister, Singh was rushed to a hospital, where he was stated to be “out of danger”.

He has suffered a fracture of the lower limb. His trainer Bhutto was also injured, police said.

According to a senior police official, the feudal lord-turned-politician was flying the two-seater helicopter along with his trainer-pilot along the banks of the Ganga river, when he lost control and crash landed on the highway.

His family members and associates were tight-lipped about the accident, apparently because Singh had not cared to get himself registered as a trainee pilot, which is mandatory.

One of his aides, who responded on his telephone at his residence, said: “There was no helicopter crash. Raja Bhaiya was in a car which met with an accident near Allahabad.”

However, Uttar Pradesh’s additional director general of police Brij Lal said: “The helicopter is probably owned by Raja Bhaiya himself. But what we are trying to find out was whether he had taken the necessary permission of the Air Traffic Control to fly the aircraft.”

“We are also trying to confirm whether he possessed the desired licence for flying. He would face penal action if the mandatory requirements were not met.”

According to Lal, the former minister would also be charged for “putting the lives of common people at peril by attempting to land on a highway”.

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