Offbeat

Biju Patnaik's Dakota to be brought to state soon

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government is planning to bring the abandoned Dakota aircraft to the state, which was flown by the late former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik to rescue Indonesian freedom fighters.

According to sources, talks are underway with the Netaji Subhas Bose International Airport authorities in Kolkata to bring the aircraft to Odisha to park it near the Biju Patnaik Museum at Anand Bhawan in Cuttack, the ancestral home of Patnaik.

Notably, Biju Patnaik, who was known for his daredevil acts as a pilot, had formed the Kalinga Airline in 1947.

The airline had 15 Dakota planes parked at its headquarters in Kolkata. The aircrafts were mainly used by the Army for transport of jawans deployed in Kashmir. The Kalinga Airline's DC-3s were also used to drop supplies in the north-eastern area of the country and providing services to Army personnel in the north-east areas.

Patnaik's bravery came to limelight after he rescued the then Indonesian Vice-President Muhammad Hatta and Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir from their enemies on July 22, 1947. He was credited with making the landing at Srinagar on Oct 27 in the year.

Later, the Indonesia Government acknowledged his contribution by honouring him with the 'Bhumi Putra' title for his chivalry.

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