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No compromise in PM's security will be tolerated, says Punjab CM

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Chandigarh | March 16, 2023 12:05:23 AM IST
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday said that no compromise will be tolerated in regard to the PM's security.

Punjab chief minister said that "whatever report" he will get will be submitted to the Union Home Ministry.

This comes a day after Punjab Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua on Tuesday said that the state government will soon submit the "interim" report to the Ministry of Home Affairs, related to the security breach issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit in January 2022.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had sought a 'detailed' action-taken report from the Punjab government over PM Modi's security breach. Sources had said that a letter was sent through the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the Punjab government asking for a detailed action taken report against the erring officers.

Reacting to the issue, the Punjab Chief Minister said, "No compromise in PM's security will be tolerated and the protocol should be followed. Whatever report I get, will be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs."

Earlier on Tuesday, Janjua told ANI that the state government will send an interim report to the MHA in a day or two.

"A petition was filed before Supreme Court. SC formed a panel that conducted an inquiry. They sent us the report. They examined the roles of all officers, as to what was the lapse and on whose part," he said.

"They've given all details. We have the report now, it's under consideration. Action is being taken but an opportunity for a hearing is given to all officers before action is taken. We'll send an interim report (to MHA) in a day or two that we are taking these actions," Januja added.

It was earlier learnt that Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asked Vijay Janjua to submit the action taken report, highlighting the delay by the Punjab government in acting against the erring officers.

According to sources, the letter was sent earlier this month, pointing to share the report as soon as possible.

A report of the Supreme Court-appointed inquiry committee looking into the breach in security during PM Modi's Punjab visit on January 5, 2022, which was submitted six months ago, indicted then-state Chief Secretary Anirudh Tewari, Police Chief S Chattopadhyaya, and other top officers for lapses.

Soon after the security breach, the MHA had constituted a three-member committee that summoned Director General of Punjab Police, Siddharth Chattopadhyaya, Punjab ADGP, Patiala IGP, and Ferozpur DIG along among over a dozen top Punjab Police officers. They were responsible for the Prime Minister's security during his visit to Punjab's Ferozpur on January 5.

The MHA then constituted a three-member committee led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat; Balbir Singh, Joint Director (IB); and S Suresh, IG, Special Protection Group.

The Centre is considering action under the Special Protection Group (SPG) Act against Punjab Police officers following the breach in the security of Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Punjab on January 5.

Section 14 of the SPG Act makes the state government responsible for providing all assistance to the SPG during the PM's movement.

Prime Minister Modi landed at Bathinda on January 5 morning 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 out. 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.

Prime Minister Modi then proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police, mentions the statement. Around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when his convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors.

Prime Minister Modi was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. It was flagged as a major lapse in his security.

The Home Ministry had then said PM Modi's schedule and travel plan were communicated well in advance to the Punjab government.

Following procedure, the Home Ministry said they had to make necessary arrangements for logistics, and security as well as keep a contingency plan ready.

Also in view of the contingency plan the Punjab government had to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which was clearly not deployed, the MHA had said then, adding "after this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda Airport." (ANI)

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