Written by: Shikha Singh (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s convoy enrooted to Ferozepur, Punjab to address a rally for upcoming State election, witnessed an unprecedented security lapse on 5th of January. This caused the convoy to be stuck on a busy flyover for about 20 minutes which was 30 kms away from the destination. Later in the incident it was linked up as an outcome of the political clout and gross negligence at the same time. The route of the flyover was blocked by the protestors (for justice in Lakhimpur case) to obstruct the convoy in heading ahead. In this incident, the Chief Minister of Punjab showed his unawareness in the change of the plan of the PM. He claimed that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was already informed about the bad weather condition and the rage of protesters. The Home Minister alleged that the report of PM’S visit was a well detailed report shared with the Punjab government already. When Mr Modi landed at Bhatinda Airport, he was supposed to fly to the National Martyrs’ Memorial but due to the bad weather, the road was preferred over flying and then head towards the rally.
The Security Setup Involved for Prime Minister
Quoting from the Special Protection Group Act, 1988 (ACT NO. 34 OF 1988)- An Act to provide for the constitution and regulation of an armed force of the Union for providing proximate security to the Prime Minister of India and the [former Prime Ministers of India and members of their immediate families] and for matters connected therewith. This particular act looks after the intensive security map of the Prime Minister of the country. The members and the composition of this group are kept confidential. There is a term mentioned in SPG Act that is- ‘proximate security’ which says to provide close protection to the PM when he is traveling via any mode of transportation. Section 14 of the SPG Act puts the onus on the state government to have responsibility to provide all assistance to the SPG during the PM’s movement.
The Probe in the Security Glitch
The state government of Punjab claimed to look into the matter and set up an investigation team to look for the loopholes for the lapse. A committee was decided to be set up to look into the matter. The committee will therefore include DGP Chandigarh, Inspector General of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana High Court and Additional DGP Punjab. Later it was appealed by the state government as well to have a court-monitored probe in the case for having a fair- trial. The Supreme Court finally came up to a conclusion to set up a five-member autonomous committee headed by a retired Judge.
Meanwhile the ongoing inquiries by the state government of Punjab and the centre need to be at halt. The Apex court also ordered the committee to closely study the report of PMO’s office and look for the necessary elements in the matter. Additionally the bench has also appointed a member (investigating inspector) of National Investigation Agency (NIA). The panel of the committee assured the court for presenting the report as early as possible along with some crucial feedback and suggestions to waive off the possibility of such a situation in future.