SC Panel Blames Ferozepur SSP For PM Security Breach In Punjab
New Delhi: A Supreme Court-appointed committee probing the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab in January has found that the Ferozepur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) failed to discharge his duty though sufficient force was available.
The SC on Thursday said it will send the report of the five-member panel headed by former apex court Judge Indu Malhotra to the Centre for appropriate action.
‘The Ferozepur SSP failed to discharge his duty to maintain law and order. He failed to do this even though sufficient force was available and even though he was informed two hours before that PM will enter that route,” the bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana and also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said while reading from the committee’s report.
It may be noted that the senior police officer was transferred and posted as the commandant of the third battalion in Ludhiana after the security breach. The apex court said that the committee had recommended the formation of a panel for a periodic review of the bluebook.
There are remedial measures and safeguards needed for PM security. It is suggested that an oversight committee be constituted, training of police officers as per the blue book, security planning for VVIP visits, the CJI observed.
While observing that some remedial measures have been suggested to strengthen the security of the Prime Minister, the bench stated that it will send the report to the Centre so that appropriate steps are taken.
The Charanjit Singh Channi-led Congress government was in power when the security lapse took place.
On January 5, Modi’s convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters in Ferozepur after which he returned from Punjab without attending any event, including a rally. The incident had triggered a major controversy.
Modi was forced to skip the Ferozepur rally as his security was compromised after arriving in the state. The problem started when the PM decided to travel to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainwala by road instead of the air route due to poor weather. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, a major lapse was observed in the PM’s security as his convoy was stuck for 15-20 minutes around 30 km from the destination due to a road blockade.