The Ministry of Home Affairs called the incident a "major lapse in security", and directed the Punjab government to fix responsibility for the same.

Narendra Modi
news controversy Wednesday, January 05, 2022 - 16:39

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was travelling by road in Punjab on Wednesday, January 5, was stuck on a flyover for about 15-20 minutes due to a blockade by some protesters. The Union Home Ministry described the incident as a "major lapse" in security.

According to the Home Ministry, the Prime Minister landed at Bathinda in Punjab, from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala, which is about 120 km away, by helicopter. However, due to poor weather, it was decided that the convoy would travel to the memorial by road. The decision was made after necessary security arrangements were made by the Director General of Police, Punjab, the Home Ministry said. However, the convoy was stuck for over 15 minutes when it was blocked by a group of protesters, suspected to be part of farmers’ organisations.

“The Prime Minister’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 the Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road , which were clearly not deployed,” the Home Ministry’s statement said. It added that following the incident, PM Modi returned to the Bathinda airport and the event at Hussainiwala was cancelled.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) taking cognisance of this serious security lapse has sought a detailed report from the state government. The State Government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action,” the statement said.

This was PM Modi’s first visit to Punjab after the three contentious farm laws were repealed in November 2021. According to reports, several farmers’ groups called for protests at Punjab’s Ferozepur ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit.

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