Monday 17 January 2022
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Punjab Police’s incompetence, state govt’s lie exposed

Even as politics over the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Punjab visit on 5 January has engulfed the country beyond the state that bungled it up, an internal memo by Punjab Police, clearly asking for all necessary arrangements to be made has surfaced showing the local government’s sheer incompetence. A note of the type mentions Punjab ADGP (Law and Order) Naresh Arora asking the state police to take into account the protests by farmers while finalising the route for Prime Minister Modi’s cavalcade.

“You are requested to make necessary security, traffic and route arrangements in your area by deploying force at important points,” the note states.

“You are further directed to keep a watch on the movement of farmers and they should not be allowed to move to district Ferozepur to disrupt the rally. Any dharna (sit-in demonstration) may result in roadblocks; therefore, please make necessary traffic diversion plan in advance,” the note reads.

While it is not clear how the protesting farmers reached the highway to block Prime Minister Modi’s route, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the Punjab government of leaving several gaps in security arrangements.

Several videos have surfaced showing farmers and protestors gathering on the highway from where Prime Minister Modi’s cavalcade was scheduled to pass raising questions as to how the details about the exact route to be taken by Prime Minister Modi were leaked.

“While Prime Minister Modi cut short his trip to Ferozepur following a security breach, three explosive internal missives by Punjab Police on 1, 2 and 4 January on his rally had clearly directed state cops to “make necessary diversion plan in advance,” BJP leader Amit Malviya said in a tweet.

What happened on 5 January

In a major breach of the prime minister’s security, his convoy got stranded on a due to a blockade by protesters in Ferozepur. He returned from poll-bound Punjab without attending any event, including a rally.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has denied any security lapse or political motive behind it and said his government is ready for an inquiry.

The Punjab government has a two-member high-level committee to conduct a “thorough probe” into lapses during Modi’s visit to Ferozepur, an official spokesperson said.

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