Prime Minister Narendra Modi was stuck for 15-20 minutes on a flyover during his Punjab visit. The Union Home Ministry has described the incident as a ‘security lapse’.
How did it happen?
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a statement that read, “Around 30 kms away from National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the PM’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors. The PM was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of PM.”
The Prime Minister also couldn’t attend a rally in Punjab’s Ferozpur. According to an MHA statement, the Prime Minister landed at Bathinda this morning. He was supposed to proceed to the national martyrs’ memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter.
However, due to rain and poor visibility, the PM waited for around 20 minutes for the weather to clear.
The Home Ministry statement added, “When the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the national martyrs’ memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. He proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police.”
But around 30 km from the memorial in Hussainiwala, when Modi’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protesters.
The MHA statement said, “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 MHA added that the Prime Minister’s schedule and travel plan was communicated to the Punjab government well in advance.
It added, “As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready. Also in view of the contingency plan the Punjab Government has to deploy 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.”
Angry reactions follow
Meanwhile, as per ANI officials at Bhatinda Airport said that PM Modi on returning to the airport told officials there, “Apne CM ko thanks kehna, ki mein Bhatinda airport tak zinda laut paaya.”
Officials at Bhatinda Airport tell ANI that PM Modi on his return to Bhatinda airport told officials there,“Apne CM ko thanks kehna, ki mein Bhatinda airport tak zinda laut paaya.” pic.twitter.com/GLBAhBhgL6
— ANI (@ANI) January 5, 2022
Meanwhile, Kanchan Gupta, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, tweeted, “Single biggest lapse in security of any Indian PM in recent years. What was witnessed on Bhatinda flyover was connivance between Punjab police and so-called protestors. Only Punjab Police knew the precise route of PM @narendramodi. Never has such police behavior been witnessed.”
Single biggest lapse in security of any Indian PM in recent years.
What was witnessed on Bhatinda flyover was connivance between Punjab police and so-called protestors.
Only Punjab Police knew the precise route of PM @narendramodi
Never has such police behavior been witnessed. pic.twitter.com/jWBK0k31ko
— Kanchan Gupta 🇮🇳 (@KanchanGupta) January 5, 2022
“How’s the josh” tweets Srinivas BV
Meanwhile, Punjab government hasn’t condemned the incident. National President – Indian Youth Congress, Srinivas BV tweeted, “Modi ji, How’s the Josh?”
How's the Josh?#Punjab
— Srinivas BV (@srinivasiyc) January 5, 2022
Meanwhile, Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi, said, “There was no security lapse. PM Modi had a plan to arrive by air but came by road without informing us. I had requested protesters to clear the roads by 3 pm.”
He added, “They had put 70,000 chairs but only 700 people came. So they made the excuse of rain and the other excuse, and the rally got cancelled.”
But Amarinder Singh, the former Chief Minister of Punjab, gave an angry reaction. Republic quoted him as saying, “10 kilometres from Pakistan border if you cannot secure your Prime Minister then it is a damn shame.”
Watch: '10 kilometres from Pakistan border if you cannot secure your Prime Minister then it is a damn shame': Captain Amarinder Singh lambasts Congress govt in Punjab over security lapse during PM Modi's visit to Ferozepurhttps://t.co/aPPzyhl1dj pic.twitter.com/BXTETSBBGW
— Republic (@republic) January 5, 2022
The entire issue has snowballed into a political blame-game. But at the end of the day, it is about Prime Minister Modi’s security. Last year, BJP IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya tweeted a purported video of protesting farmers where a man is heard citing former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination in a supposed bid to threaten PM Modi.
The latest incident in Punjab is not a political controversy, but something that needs to be viewed from PM Modi’s security.