Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on January 5 prevented from visiting the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala in Punjab by protestors who blocked his convoy about 30 km short of the destination.
The Ministry of Home Affairs issued a terse statement, terming the incident as a “major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister”.
The Prime Ministers convoy was forced to turn back after being stranded on a flyover for 20 minutes.
“Around 30 kms 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 Ministry of Home Affairs stated.
This was Prime Minister Modi’s first visit to Punjab after the repeal of the Farm Laws following a year-long agitation, in which farmers from Punjab were at the forefront. The visit was also important in the context of impending elections to the Punjab Legislative Assembly.
He landed at the Bhatinda airbase on the morning of January 5 and was scheduled to go to the Hussainiwala Memorial in Ferozepur district by helicopter. But rain and poor visibility forced him to travel to Hussainiwala by road, which is a two-hour journey from the Bhatinda airbase.
“He proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police,” according to the statement of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“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. 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,” the statement elaborated.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) taking cognisance of this serious security lapse has sought a detailed report from the state government. The State Government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action,” the statement added.