‘Thank Your CM’, PM Modi Tells Officials At Bathinda Aiport After The Security Lapse

SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s entourage was today blocked in Punjab’s Bathinda district. The most important person of the country remained stuck on a flyover after some protesters blocked the road in the Congress-ruled state.

MHA described the incident as a “major security lapse”. Modi, as per reports, had gone to Bathinda to visit the National Martyr’s Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. However due to poor visibility, the PM had to wait for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear, a statement issued by the Home Ministry said.

“Today morning PM landed at Bathinda from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. Due to rain and poor visibility, the PM waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out,” the statement said.

“Around 30 kms away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the PM’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors,” the statement further said.

However, when the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Martyrs Memorial via road.  The statement said that the PM proceeded to travel after necessary confirmation of necessary arrangements was made by the Director General of Punjab Police.

“The PM’s schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready. Also, in view of the contingency plan Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed.”

The Home ministry has sought a detailed report of the incident from the Punjab government and has been asked to fix responsibility for the “lapse” and take action in this regard.

Calling it the “single biggest lapse in the security of any Indian Prime Minister in recent years”, government sources accused the Punjab police of “conniving” with so-called protesters. Only the Punjab Police knew the PM’s precise route, NDTV reported.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister, Charanjit Channi refuted the claims of the incident being a “major security lapse”. Channi as per media reports said that it was “no security lapse.” He further said that PM’s road plan was made at the last minute. “He was supposed to go by helicopter. I was up late at night overseeing security arrangements for his rally. 70,000 chairs were put up for rally but only 700 people turned up,” media reports quoted him as saying.

Modi was also scheduled to address a rally at Ferozpur, which, he however cancelled after the incident. “I look forward to being among my sisters and brothers of Punjab today. At a programme in Ferozepur, the foundation stone of development works worth Rs. 42,750 crore would be laid, which will improve the quality of life for the people,” Modi had tweeted on Wednesday morning.

As per various reports appearing in the media, Modi while returning to Bathinda Airport told officials, “Apne CM to Thanks Bolna ki mai Bathinda tak zinda laut paya. (thank you Chief Minister that I was able to return to Bathinda alive)”

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