Chandigarh/Ferozepur: A Central team probing the “serious lapses” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security during his Ferozepur tour visited the town Friday and held interaction with senior officials, while the Punjab government submitted a report to Centre saying an FIR has been registered in the matter.
The three-member committee, constituted by the Union Home Ministry on Thursday, sought full details about the sequence of events that unfolded during Modi’s January 5 visit, sources said.
The Punjab government has maintained there was no security lapse during Modi’s visit. On Thursday, it had announced a two-member panel to investigate the matter. The panel had been asked to submit its report in three days.
The Punjab Police has also registered an FIR in Ferozepur against nearly 150 unidentified protesters who blocked Modi’s cavalcade on Wednesday.
The prime minister’s convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters in Ferozepur on Wednesday after which he returned from the poll-bound state without attending any event, including a rally.
Amid foggy weather conditions, the three-member central team visited the Pyarayana flyover near Ferozepur Friday morning and interacted with senior Punjab Police and civil administration officials.
The panel is led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat, and has Balbir Singh, Joint Director of the Intelligence Bureau; and S Suresh, IG, Special Protection Group as two other members.
The Centre has advised the committee to submit its report at the earliest.
It is learnt that a showcause notice has been issued by the MHA to a couple of senior officials from Bathinda and Ferozepur over the “grave security lapse” during the prime minister’s visit.
The team in the morning started its enquiry into the security breach and looking into the lapses which caused the prime minister’s cavalcade to remain stranded at the flyover near Ferozepur for almost 15-20 minutes on Wednesday, the sources said.
The team spent around 45 minutes at the flyover before heading to the BSF sector headquarters for further questioning and investigation into the matter.
At the BSF sector headquarters in Ferozepur, which is around 10 km from where the incident took place on National Highway 5, the Central team remained closeted with the senior civil and police officers who were directly responsible to ensure the smooth passage of the prime minister’s convoy and its foolproof security.
According to the sources, the Central team summoned several senior police and civil officials, including those who were deployed for the prime minister’s security during his visit to Ferozepur, to appear in person before them on Friday and most were present.
Meanwhile, Punjab’s Chief Secretary Anirudh Tewari wrote to the Union Home Ministry regarding the security breach, informing that an FIR has been lodged in the incident.
He mentioned that the state government has formed its own two-member panel to investigate the alleged lapses.
Tewari is learnt to have shared details pertaining to the sequence of events that unfolded on Wednesday, official sources in the state said.
The Union Home Ministry had directed the state government to file an immediate report, saying it did not ensure the required deployment, while Home Minister Amit Shah had said that such dereliction of the security procedure during the prime minister’s visit was totally unacceptable and accountability would be fixed.
The incident triggered a major political row with the BJP alleging that the ruling Congress in Punjab “tried to physically harm” the prime minister, while other parties too attacked the state government over the law and order issue.
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