Jaipur (Rajasthan): While raising concerns over the lapse in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security during his Punjab visit, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allegedly politicizing the issue and held the Special Protection Group (SPG) responsible for the matter.
Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Gehlot said, “The lapse in the security of the Prime Minister is a serious matter. In the past, two Prime Ministers of India, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi have been assassinated, after which the SPG was given full responsibility for the security of the Prime Minister. Special provisions have been made in the SPG Act to ensure the security of the PM.” He said the SPG and Intelligence Bureau (IB) are responsible for security on the PM’s visit and the state police follow the instructions and advice of the SPG. PM’s convoy cannot proceed without the permission of the SPG, he added.
“The SPG should explain why the Prime Minister was made to travel via road for more than two hours without a predetermined schedule. Punjab Chief Minister told that the information regarding protests by farmers was already shared yet why did the SPG allow the PM’s convoy to go via the protest route?” questioned Gehlot.
He further criticized the BJP saying that the party is fading the seriousness of the matter by doing politics over it.
“This is a serious issue for which the responsibilities of SPG, IB and other agencies should be fixed rather than doing politics. The remarks being made by the BJP against Congress and Punjab Chief Minister on this issue dilute the seriousness of the issue. It should be condemned,” said Chief Minister Gehlot.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit Ferozepur on Wednesday to lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore.
The Home Ministry said in a statement that PM Modi landed at Bathinda on Wednesday morning from where he was 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.
The statement said that 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. 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 was communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready,” the statement said.
“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,” it added.
It said only Punjab police knew the precise route of the PM and “never has such police behaviour been witnessed”.
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. (ANI)