Written by Shivangi Chawla
On Wednesday morning, PM Narendra Modi landed at Bathinda, from where he had to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. However, Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister had to wait for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out.
When the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would reach the National Martyrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. The Prime Minister proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police.
Around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the Prime Minister’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors. The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes.
“This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister’s schedule and travel plan were communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. “Also in view of the contingency plan, the Punjab Government has to maintain additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed.
After this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda Airport. Government sources said what was witnessed on the flyover was “a surprising scene of connivance between Punjab police and so-called protestors”.
It is believed only Punjab police knew the precise route of the PM and “never has such police behavior been witnessed”.
Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh today, Punjab CM said, “I express regret that PM Modi had to return during his visit to Ferozepur district today. We respect our Prime Minister.”
Channi gave clarifications over PM’s return journey from Punjab and said, “I had to receive the PM at Bathinda today but those who had to accompany me tested COVID positive. Hence, I did not go to receive the PM today as I was in close contact with some who tested positive.” Further, the Chief Minister refuted the allegations of a security lapse during PM Modi’s visit.
“We had asked them (PMO) to discontinue the visit due to bad weather conditions and protests. We had no information of his (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) sudden route change. There was no security lapse during the PM visit,” Channi added.
Punjab CM said that the state government will conduct an inquiry if there were any security lapses during PM Modi’s visit today. “If there were any security lapses during PM Modi’s visit today, then we will conduct an inquiry. There was no danger to the Prime Minister,” he stated.
Channi said, “The farmers have been agitating peacefully for the last one year. I am not going to lathi-charge farmers. We spoke to farmers the entire last night after which they ended their agitation. Today, suddenly some agitators gathered in Ferozepur district.”
The Home Ministry has taken cognizance of the “serious security lapse” and has sought a detailed report from the Punjab government. The state government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action.