A committee probing the security breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi found lapses in the “conduct of the Punjab police” during his visit to the state in January, the Supreme Court said today.
The Supreme Court said that the five-member committee, headed by former Supreme Court Judge Justice Indu Malhotra, has indicted the Senior Superintendent of Police Ferozepur for failing to take requisite 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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi will enter that route,” the Supreme Court said while reading from the report.
A bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramanna said that the five-member committee has suggested remedial measures to strengthen the Prime Minister’s security.
“We will send the report to the centre so that necessary steps can be taken,” the court said.
PM Modi, who was on his way to Ferozepur for an election rally on January 5, was stopped for 20 minutes on a flyover about 30 km from Hussainiwala due to a blockade by farmers.
A massive row had erupted over the incident, with the BJP accusing the Congress-led Punjab government of “a murderous conspiracy” against the Prime Minister – a charge refuted by then Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
The Home Ministry had criticised Punjab police for failing to prepare a contingency route for the PM’s visit, in line with protocol and questions were raised over the events that led to the convoy getting stuck on that flyover.
The Supreme Court then appointed a committee to find out if there was any criminal conspiracy in the incident and also probe the role of the Punjab police.
According to officials associated with the probe, the statements of all witnesses – Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel, Punjab Police personnel and also bystanders were recorded.
Sources say the committee had also examined videos showing PM Modi sitting in the car and those of the protesters blocking the road ahead.