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IAF Chief praises helicopter pilot who refused to fly Rahul Gandhi in Assam

Press Trust of India
Oct 05, 2012 at 05:09pm IST

New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne on Friday praised the helicopter pilot who refused to fly Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in September during his Assam visit, saying safety of the Congress leader was more important than anything else.

Browne also said the force will not break any rule to achieve the tasks keeping in mind the safety occupant, pilot and crew's life. "I am very proud of the pilot who refused to fly Rahul Gandhi, because it is not the question of allowing or refusing. It is the question of doing it right," he said.

Replying to a question by mediapersons over the incident in September, he said, "The safety of the occupants, safety of the helicopter, pilots life and crew has its importance and we will not break any rule to achieve the task."

IAF Chief praises pilot who refused to fly Rahul in Assam

Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne said the safety of the Congress leader was more important than anything else.

The incident had occurred in September during the visit of the Congress general secretary to riot-hit areas of Assam. While travelling back to Guwahati with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, he was denied permission by the IAF officials to

take off due to the bad weather.

The IAF chief also rejected reports that on few instances the Air Force choppers did not reach in time to evacuate people from Naxal-affected areas.

Citing a recent media report, he said he had also written to Defence Minister AK Antony complaining about such stories which presented a wrong picture regarding his force.

"I had written to Defence Minister AK Antony complaining that someone has put such an allegation on us and that was highly appreciated by the Ministry," Browne said.

He said delays in air support of any nature in Naxal-affected areas have happened due to bad weather and other adverse conditions.

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