Punjab Chief Secretary Anirudh Tewari, in a report to the Centre over the recent ‘breach of security’ during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the state, said the protest which disrupted the arrangements was ‘sudden and spontaneous’, sources told News18.
Giving detail of the events that led to the security lapse, the report stated that more security personnel were deployed in view of a call for demonstrations given by nine farmer organisations, information that was also given to the Centre, the sources said. The Prime Minister’s route was ‘clear’, the report added.
However, the protesters came to the site in a ‘sudden’ manner, leading to the incident, it said.
The report was made after talking to top officials of the Punjab police posted under the PM’s security, the sources said, adding that it has also informed the Centre of the two-member panel set up the state government to probe the incident.
Prime Minister Modi was in Punjab on Wednesday to dedicate projects worth Rs 42,000 crore to the people. He landed in Bathinda in the morning from where he was scheduled to fly to Ferozepur for a rally. However, bad weather forced a change in plans and PM Modi decided to cover the 100km distance by road – a two-hour drive.
Just 10km ahead of the venue, his cavalcade was met by protesting farmers, keeping the convoy along with the PM waiting on the bridge for 20 minutes. They finally had to turn back with the PM reportedly telling airport officials to “thank their Chief Minister” that he made it alive to the airport.
Meanwhile, amid politics over the issue. Union Home Minister Amit Shah constituted a three-member committee to probe the “serious lapses in the security arrangements” that “led to the exposure of the VVIP to grave security risk”.
The three-member committee will be led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat and include Balbir Singh, Joint Director of Intelligence Bureau, and S Suresh, Inspector-General of SPG. The committee is advised to submit its report at the earliest.