PM security breach: Centre seeks action-taken report from Punjab | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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PM security breach: Centre seeks action-taken report from Punjab

Mar 12, 2023 04:19 AM IST

A report of the Supreme Court-appointed inquiry committee looking into the breach in security during 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.

Patiala Irked over the delay in acting against officers who erred in the security arrangements for Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visited Punjab in January last year, the Centre has sought an action-taken report from the state government.

Security breach in PM Modi's convoy in Ferozepur district on January 5, 2022. (ANI)
Security breach in PM Modi's convoy in Ferozepur district on January 5, 2022. (ANI)

A report of the Supreme Court-appointed inquiry committee looking into the breach in security during 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.

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Earlier this week, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla asked Punjab chief secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua to submit an action taken report, highlighting the delay by the state government in acting against the erring officers.

“The Union home ministry has sought a report from Punjab, and the chief secretary has discussed the issue with the chief minister. It has been decided to issue a charge sheet to all concerned officers,” a state government official said, requesting anonymity.

The state chief secretary has apprised chief minister Bhagwant Mann that the state has to act against the officers, going by the report submitted by a Supreme Court-appointed panel, the official added.

On March 7, HT was the first to report the findings submitted by the five-member committee led by retired Supreme Court justice Indu Malhotra. Till then, the only finding of the report in the public domain was that it held senior superintendent of police Harmandeep Singh Hans responsible for the lapse. HT has reviewed a copy of the report.

Also Read | PM security breach: 6 months on, no action against former Punjab chief secretary, ex-DGP

Besides Hans, the report had held the then Punjab civil administration heads and police brass responsible for the lapses in the Prime Minister’s security.

Besides Hans, Tewari and Chattopadhyaya, the committee has indicted additional director generals of police G Nageswara Rao and Naresh Arora, inspectors general Rakesh Aggarwal and Inderbir Singh, then deputy inspector general Surjeet Singh (now retired), and senior superintendent of police Charanjit Singh.

The report was submitted to the apex court and to the Union government on August 25 last year. In September, the latter forwarded it to the Aam Aadmi Party-led state government, which is yet to act on it.

The Supreme Court ordered the inquiry after the convoy of Modi was stranded for half an hour on a flyover when he was travelling by road from Bathinda airport to Ferozepur on January 5, 2022. A belligerent crowd of about 300 protesters gathered at the end of the flyover, prompting the Special Protection Group which protects the Prime Minister to halt the convoy and head back to the airport.

Before heading back to Delhi, Modi told Punjab officials: “Apne CM ko thanks kehna, ki mein Bathinda airport tak zinda laut paaya (thank your CM on my behalf that I could return alive to Bathinda airport).”

The report indicted the Punjab police brass for its casual and negligent attitude, and referred to the incident as “a colossal failure in planning and coordination”.

A Congress government headed by Charanjit Singh Channi was in charge of the state at that time.

The chief secretary could not be contacted for comments despite several attempts.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Vishal Rambani is an assistant editor covering Punjab. A journalist with over a decade of experience, he writes on politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues. He has several investigative stories to his credit.

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