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IAF backs pilot who refused to fly Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was forced to change his travel plans as the Indian Air Force pilot did not oblige his request.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has extended its support to the pilot who refused to fly Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi from riot-hit areas of lower Assam to Guwahati airport citing bad weather.

In a statement e-mailed to the media this morning, the Air Force said: "Based on the prevailing weather and approaching sunset, the pilot taking the safety of the VIP as being paramount, arrived at the decision that it was unsafe to undertake the flight. The pilot`s decision was taken using his professional judgment."

On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi was forced to change his travel plans as the IAF pilot did not oblige his request for flying him back to Guwahati.
He was on a day`s trip to the state to meet victims of ethnic violence in relief camps and held discussions with Bodoland Territorial Council leaders on the prevailing situation in 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, sources said here.

An IAF spokesperson in New Delhi confirmed that Gandhi had wanted to fly to Guwahati urgently for a meeting there but due to bad weather prevailing en route and at the destination, the permission was not given.

(With PTI inputs)

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