Wednesday 1 February 2023
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PoliticsIndiaSupreme Court to hear petition on PM's security breach

Supreme Court to hear petition on PM’s security breach

The petition at the Supreme Court seeks to fix responsibility for the prime minister’s convoy in Ferozepur getting stuck on a flyover for about 20 min

The Supreme Court has accepted a petition on alleged security lapses during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit for a government function in election-bound Punjab yesterday. The petition has been filed by an organisation, Lawyer’s Voice, and will be taken up by the top court tomorrow.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana has asked petitioners to serve a copy on the union and Punjab government today.

A large section of the media has been referring to the cancelled event as a “rally”, thus giving the Indian National Congress (INC) an opportunity to excuse itself by claiming that the prime minister decided not to go ahead with it because there was hardly a crowd at the venue. It was not a of the BJP or its alliance with former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. It was a government function where current Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had been invited as a guest too.

The function in Ferozepur where the prime minister was supposed to deliver a speech had to be cancelled yesterday because of the unprecedented security breach, as some protesters blocked the route and forced his convoy to spend about 20 min on a flyover. After landing at Bathinda airport, Prime Minister Modi was on his way to the National Martyrs’ Memorial at Hussainiwala when the security protocol was breached.

The union government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), security experts and former senior police officers all stressed on the dangerous precedent set by the incident.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the BJP pointed to lapses by the Punjab police and the state government, and alleged that dirty politics was at play.

“Today’s Congress-made happening in Punjab is a trailer of how this party thinks and functions. Repeated rejections by the people have taken them to the path of insanity,” tweeted Union home minister Amit Shah.

Union Minister Smriti Irani asked if information about the prime minister’s route was leaked.

Punjab Chief Minister Channi expressed regret over the incident but rejected the BJP’s allegations. At a press conference, Channi said that his government had no information about the prime minister’s motorcade taking the road route.

The Punjab government today set up a high-level committee to probe lapses during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the state.

A Punjab government spokesperson said that the committee would comprise Justice (Retd) Mehtab Singh Gill and Principal Secretary, home affairs and Justice, Anurag Verma. The panel has been asked to submit its report within three days, the spokesperson said.

Capt Singh has demanded Channi’s resignation, saying that the Punjab government could not provide smooth passage to the prime minister of the country, a situation rendered more serious by the fact that the place was a mere 10 km from the border.

Rajasthan Chief Minister expressed concern at the incident, but slammed the BJP for allegedly politicising the issue and held the Special Protection Group (SPG) responsible for the matter.

“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,” Gehlot wrote on Twitter.

The Bhartiya Kisan Union (Krantikari), one of the 32 farm organisations involved in the year-long protests against the now repealed farm laws, took responsibility for the blockade.

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