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‘Security lapse’ hits PM Modi’s Ferozepur visit

Road blocked by some protesting farmers; MHA seeks detailed report from Punjab Govt

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed event at Ferozepur in Punjab on Wednesday had to be cancelled owing to a “security lapse”, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said.

The Ministry has sought a detailed report from the State government and to fix responsibility for the lapse and take strict action.

The Prime Minister was scheduled to lay the foundation stones for several projects.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cavalcade stranded on a flyover 30 km away from Hussainiwala due to road jams by protesting farmers, in Punjab on January 5, 2022. Photo: Special Arrangement 

 

According to a MHA statement, he landed at Bathinda in the morning from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. “Due to rain and poor visibility, PM waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out. When the weather didn’t improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Marytrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. He then proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Police,” the statement said, adding, “Around 30 km 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 protesters. The PM was stuck on the flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of PM.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cavalcade stranded on a flyover 30 km away from Hussainiwala due to road jams by protesting farmers, in Punjab on January 5, 2022. Photo: Special Arrangement 

 

‘Schedule communicated’

The statement noted that the Prime Minister’s schedule and travel plan were communicated well in advance to the State government. “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, 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,” it stated.

Farmers have been opposing Mr. Modi’s visit to Ferozepur. Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), one of the largest farmer outfits in Punjab, was at the forefront of the protest against his visit and its members were seen demonstrating and blocking roads at several places across the State.

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