MHA’s 3-member panel in Ferozepur to inquire into PM’s security breach

New Delhi: A three-member committee, constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), reached Ferozepur to inquire into the serious lapses in the security arrangements during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab, sources said.

The three-member committee led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat and comprising of Balbir Singh, Joint Director, IB and S. Suresh, IG, SPG is learnt to have reached Ferozepur late on Thursday night and visited the spot early on Friday where Prime Minister’s convoy was stuck for over 15-20 minutes due to road blockade by protesters.

During its visit, the Committee will meet officers in the police and concerned authorities in the Punjab Government who were responsible for the security arrangements of the Prime Minister in coordination with the Special Protection Group officials.

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With protesters blocking the road, the PM’s cavalcade was stranded on a flyover 30 km from the National Martyrs Memorial in Punjab’s Hussainiwala on January 5 where the Prime Minister was going to attend an event organized for the inauguration of several projects of crores of rupees.

Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday constituted the three-member committee to enquire into the serious lapses in the security arrangements during PM’s visit, which led to the exposure of the VVIP to grave security risk.

Home Ministry Spokesperson in a Tweet on Thursday had informed about the formation of the committee which will submit the report at the earliest.

The moves comes after the Home Ministry on Wednesday also sought a detailed report from the Punjab government over the security lapse and asked it “to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action”.
Meanwhile, Punjab government has also constituted a high-level committee to probe the incident.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed at Bathinda on January 5 morning from where he was schedued to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter.

Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out, said a Home Ministry statement.

“When the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Marytrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours,” the statement read.
PM then 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,” reads the statement.

“The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister,” it added.

Home Ministry says that the Prime Minister’s schedule and travel plan were communicated well in advance to the Punjab government.

As per procedure, the Home Ministry said, 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.”

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