In a "major security lapse", Prime Minister Narendra Modi was stuck on a flyover in Punjab for 15-20 minutes on Wednesday due to blockade by some protesters and returned without attending an event at a martyrs' memorial. The Prime Minister also could not attend a rally in Ferozepur.
PM Modi after cancelling the events returned to the airport in Bathinda because of the breach, the Home Ministry said in a statement blaming the Congress government for failing to prepare for the visit.
The prime minister on his return to Bhatinda airport told officials there,“Apne CM ko thanks kehna, ki mein Bhatinda airport tak zinda laut paaya.” (Tell thanks to your Chief Minister, I was able to return alive till Bathinda airport).
According to a ministry statement, the prime minister landed this morning at Bathinda in Punjab from where he was to go to the national martyrs' memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. Due to rain and poor visibility, the prime minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear.
Officials at Bhatinda Airport tell ANI that PM Modi on his return to Bhatinda airport told officials there,“Apne CM ko thanks kehna, ki mein Bhatinda airport tak zinda laut paaya.” pic.twitter.com/GLBAhBhgL6— ANI (@ANI) January 5, 2022
"When the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the national martyrs' memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. He proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police," the statement said.
Around 30 kms away from the national martyrs memorial in Hussainiwala, when Modi'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 statement said.
The home ministry said the prime minister's schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab government and as per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready. Also, the home ministry said, 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 said The home ministry, taking cognisance of this serious security lapse, has sought a detailed report from the Punjab government.
The Punjab government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action, the statement said.
(with agency inputs)
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