PM Modi landed in Bathinda, Punjab this morning and was supposed to travel to National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter, but his convoy took to the road, after incessant rain and poor visibility made flying unsafe.
The PM was stuck on a flyover for nearly 20 minutes owing to a potential ‘security breach’ as the road was blocked by some protesters, according to Home Ministry statement.
‘PM waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out. He proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police,’ the MHA statement read.
The Centre said that while the SPG is responsible for proximate security, the state apparatus needed to ensure overall safety protocols during the PM’s visit.
‘Farmers’ intention to protest was made clear a few days ago. It didn’t come as a surprise. Yet yet no step was taken to sanitise the route that PM was to take as is the protocol,’ added the statement.
Government sources said, ‘This is the single biggest lapse in security of any Indian Prime Minister in recent years.’
The Union home ministry maintained that the prime minister’s schedule was communicated well in advance to the Punjab government, but adequate security measures were not taken.
‘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 state 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,’ the ministry was quoted.
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