Sedition FIR against Deoghar official who objected to BJP MP allegedly forcing take-off from airport
This was after BJP MPs Nishikant Dubey and Manoj Tiwari were named in an FIR for violating safety standards by storming into the air traffic control room.
Deoghar Deputy Commissioner Manjunath Bhajantri was booked for sedition on Saturday on a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey, the Hindustan Times reported.
The FIR was filed hours after Dubey, another BJP MP Manoj Tiwari and seven others were booked by the Jharkhand Police for allegedly violating safety standards by forcefully taking clearance from the authorities for take-off from the Deoghar airport on August 31.
In the early hours of Saturday, Bhajantri and Dubey also had an argument on Twitter, where they accused each other of being in the wrong.
In a Zero FIR registered in Delhi, Dubey has also accused Jharkhand Police officials of threatening to kill him and abusing his two sons at the behest of Bhajantri, ANI reported. Apart from sedition, Bhajantri has been charged under various other sections of the Indian Penal Code and Official Secrets Act, according to the Hindustan Times.
A Zero FIR can be filed in any police station irrespective of place of incident and jurisdiction. The matter can later be transferred to the appropriate police station.
Earlier on Thursday, the Jharkhand Police had booked Dubey, Tiwari and the others for allegedly forcefully taking clearance from the Air Traffic Control for take-off from Deoghar past sunset on August 31.
The airport was inaugurated on July 12 and is yet to receive clearance for night operations. Flights from Deoghar airport are currently allowed to depart 30 minutes before sunset.
The case was registered based on a complaint filed by Suman Anand, who is in charge of airport security. Anand alleged that the politicians violated all safety standards by entering the Air Traffic Control room and forcing officials to clear their chartered flight for take-off at night.
On Friday, Bhajantri wrote to the principal secretary, cabinet-coordination of civil aviation of Jharkhand about the incident.
“Dubey and others came inside the ATC room…the security in-charge said that the pilot and the passengers were pressuring for clearance to take off, which was given,” the letter said.“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 airport security standards.
The letter sparked off a war of words on Twitter between Bhajantri and Dubey. In response to a tweet from the deputy commissioner’s office on the chain of events, the BJP MP from Godda called Bhajantri a sycophant of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren. He also alleged that Bhajantri had entered the airport without due clearance.
Bhajantri then responded from his personal Twitter handle, claiming that he had an entry pass. He, in turn, questioned Dubey who gave him and those travelling with him, the authorisation to enter the Air Traffic Control room.
To this, the MP said that he had taken the “necessary permission from the airport authorities”.
Bhajanti wrote in another tweet: “But, when night landing facility is not there, and so many flights getting cancelled every other day, how did your chartered plane take off at 6.17 pm when the sunset time was 6.03 pm?”