The Pune city police are investigating the mystery behind the apparent sighting of two unknown paragliders, who were reportedly seen circling around the city airport and the Lohegaon air force station (AFS) on June 29 and 30. The two gliders were said to be circling at an altitude of 4,000 feet.
The probe comes barely a month after arrested LeT operative Abu Jundal told interrogators that the terror oufit had trained over 100 militants in paragliding.
According to sources, one of the paragliders was spotted by an incoming GoAir aircraft on the evening of June 29. The pilot of the aircraft had reported the matter to the authorities and it was conveyed to the IAF base.The restricted air space of Pune was breached twice on June 29 and 30 when civilian aircraft found paragliders. These gliders were close to the Pune airfield but away from the boundaries of Lohegaon Air Station.
A statement released by the Indian Air Force station at Lohegaon stated, “On June 29, 2012 at 1757 hrs, Go Air 367 aircraft while landing at Pune airport reported that one canopy power glider crossed at a height of about 4,000 feet. Again on June 30, 2012 at about 0745 hrs, a white coloured glider was spotted south of Pune airfield at 1,000 feet above the ground level.”
According to the information available, the glider started operating from south of the airfield, moved towards south-west and finally disappeared somewhere in south-east of the airfield. On both the occasions, the gliders were outside the boundaries of the Air Force station. The Pune air space is restricted and permission to fly in the air space is subject to prior approvals from the concerned authorities, including the Air Traffic Control. The reason behind such a restriction is the presence of sensitive installations in Pune like Sukhoi squadrons and Southern Command of the Indian Army. In the past, on several times the intelligence agencies have alerted the administration and local security agencies about the possibility of a terror attack at the prestigious tri-services training institution — NDA at Khadakvasla.