These internal memos were prepared by the ADGP rank officers of the Punjab Police. Crucial question is if Punjab Police was aware of the dangers, who thwarted the possible security arrangements?
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Punjab on Wednesday (January 5) for multiple public meetings when he was stuck on a flyover for over 20 minutes as some ‘protestors’ had blocked the road.
Now, internal memos of the Punjab Police reveal that at least three internal memos were written by the ADGP rank officers.
Punjab ADGP (law and order) Naresh Arora sent a note to 11 ADGP rank officers with “Security and route arrangements in districts of 5th Jan – PMs Rally-day in view of farmers agitation” in the headline. It read “Any dharna may result in road blocks, therefore please make necessary traffic diversion plan in advance. Please brief your SSPs personally to assess plan of farmers and make necessary arrangements accordingly at personal level.”
The internal memos were reported by the news website New Indian. The same memo was also sent to the supervisory officer on PM duty. The internal memos were written on January 1, 2 & 4.
The memo written on January 2 note “Ferozepur is a land of sugarcane fields, drains and tubewells, take these into consideration as deployment. At Hussainiwala, helipad be careful for in depth deployment without weapon. Extensive use of sniffer dogs for explosives. Please ensure protestors don’t block the rally route, plan advance alternate routes. Ensure photographs of anti-national elements and equipments like tiffin bombs, grenades and IEDs are given to the GOs and shown to the men. Deployment on routes should be in groups and be mobile just in case it needs to be moved to remove blockade.”
One of the memos explicitly mentions about making alternate traffic diversion ready considering the agitation in Punjab. It read “Any dharna may result in road blocks, therefore please make necessary traffic diversion plan in advance.”
The important question remains if the police was aware of it so much in advance, who thwarted the attempts to make alternate arrangements?
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in a press statement, said, “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.”
It added “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.”
When the prime minister visits any state, the chief minister, state DGP and chief secretary receive the prime minister and accompany him. But, in Punjab’s case, all there were absent from the prime minister’s convoy.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Channi said he could not join the Prime Minister as some members in team had tested positive for Covid-19. But, CM Channi did a press conference on Wednesday (January 5) evening without a mask.
After the prime minister’s convoy could not move, he returned to Bhatinda airport and left for Delhi.
Before flying back to Delhi, PM Modi told the airport security staff “Apne CM Ko Thanks Bolna, Main Zinda Laut Paaya” (Say thanks to your chief minister, I returned alive.).