Special Correspondent

GULBARGA: The helicopter used by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president M. Mallikarjun Kharge to fly to Gulbarga on April 25 and seized by the police for landing at the helipad in the District Police Headquarters grounds without obtaining permission on charges of criminal trespass was on Monday released by the Principal Judicial Magistrate First Class Joshi on the condition that the pilot Ashok Mahant produced an indemnity bond of Rs. 13 crore to the court. The pilot produced the bond. Mr. Kharge along with Gulbarga MP Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi, his son and general secretary of Youth Congress Priyank Kharge had arrived here on April 25 in the helicopter to participate in the workers convention of the Chitapur Assembly constituency in the city. On the same night, Deputy Commissioner Pankajkumar Pandey, who is the District Election Officer, and the Superintendent of Police Manish Kharbikar inspected the helicopter at the helipad and ordered booking of the case for criminal trespass. Earlier, the Deputy Superintendent of the District Armed Reserve Police Kumar had filed a complaint with the Brahmpur Police Station against the pilot for trespass into the government property.

The District Election Officer had also filed a report to the Chief Electoral Officer about the incident.