FEROZEPUR/NEW DELHI: Barely hours before the Supreme Court was to hear a plea seeking court-monitored probe into breach involving PM Narendra Modi’s convoy on a flyover in Punjab’s border district of Ferozepur, the Channi government on Thursday registered an FIR on the incident.
The FIR, however, skips any reference to presence of Modi in the January 5 incident – the security lapse where his convoy was stuck on a flyover for 20 minutes amid a blockade by some protesters after inclement weather had forced an alternate road trip to National Martyrs memorial in Ferozepur, that has now brought BJP and Congress face-to-face. BJP has directly accused Congress regime of endangering PM’s life, bringing scrutiny from top IPS and judiciary of the country.
The New Indian has accessed the copy of the FIR.
Punjab government has only invoked IPC section 283 in the FIR, that deals with offence of “taking a property in possession or under charge that causes danger, obstruction or injury to any person in any public way or public line of navigation”.
The maximum penalty in this bailable offence is Rs 200.
The FIR also skips any reference to Modi’s convoy being forced to stop or halt due to presence of political party, ideological activists, protesters or unions.
The FIR is solely based on a statement of Punjab Police’s own DSP Mahender Bansal, who is attached with crime against women (CAW).
“When I reached Krishi Bhawan route on Ferozepur-Moga, I was informed that some unidentified men had stopped the route which was seeing movement of VIPS and those who wanted to reach the rally. This happened during 2:30 pm-3 pm. When I reached the police station, there was a protest there….” the FIR contents read.
It doesn’t specify any particular farm union or outfit, whose inputs were shared by Punjab’s security and intelligence teams for last on week while they were holding discussions with special protection group (SPG) on PM’s visit to Ferozepur.
Modi was scheduled to lay foundation stones of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore that include Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, four landing of Amritsar-Una section, PGI satellite centre at Ferozepur and two medical colleges at Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur.
Videos that have surfaced from Ferozepur show that PM’s convoy was held for more than 20-minutes as it struggled to find a way through a maze of trucks and pubic transport including trolleys and buses. Thousands of Punjab Police men in uniform are seen standing on the road while speaking on phones.
Even as there were no signs by Punjab to invoke serious charges of offence in the security lapse, ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Thursday set up a three-member committee. It will be led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, secretary (security), cabinet secretariat and include Balbir Sigh, joint director, IB and S Suresh, IG , SPG as other members.
MHA has summoned five police officials including Bathinda and Ferozepur senior superintendents of police (SSPs) in Punjab to record their statements in the breach that was filmed in full public view where PM was exposed to protesters on road in a district, 10 km from Pakistan border town of Kasur.
Even as Punjab CM Charanjit Channi on Wednesday said that there was no prior intimation on Modi’s road trip, the New Indian had on Thursday disclosed that three alerts shared by his own government, administration staff and top ADGP-rank cops had mentioned to each other on January 1 , 2 and 4 “ making necessary arrangements accordingly at personal level in case of rain on Jan 5” and “necessary traffic diversion plan in advance as dharnas may result in road blocks.
Besides, Advance Security Liason (ASL) for PM’s visit was conducted by SPG along with Punjab administration and the local police on January 1 and 2. During the ASL, contingency plan for road journey from Bathinda to Ferozepur was discussed in detail
“That neither Channi’s office responded to SOS calls from PMO nor his chief secretary or he himself went to receive him even as he went around addressing media later, has raised questions if Congress government deliberately ignored the sanctity of such intelligence and sensitive security briefings, leading to a public lapse while endangering life of PM,” said a former Intelligence Bureau director, who wished not to be named.
27 DGP-rank retired IPS have written a scathing letter to President of India, saying that the incident indicates “a bigger conspiracy which requires detailed and fair investigation” and “this is one of the gravest security lapses in history of this country commmitted through conspiracy and collusion”
“We are approaching yourself for the reason that it has never happened that state agencies are making one or other excuse and there are contradictory statements even at the level of a chief minister (Charanjit Channi), regarding the route of the Prime minister which has been blocked by the so called protestors. If its not understood that how protestors were aware of the route, the information of which otherwise is shared only with state officials and so called protestors were present in huge numbers, that too on a bridge which obstructed the convoy of PM, which resulted in this serious lapse,” the letter has said.
“The state was well aware of alternate routes ( as discussed in their own letters by ADGP to other cops on duty),” it points out.
“We the former police officers, request your honour to take immediate action on this matter having serious bearing on national security and state responsibility of law and order in border state going for election,” it added.
The letter signed by former Punjab DGP P C Dogra and former Maharashtra DGP Praveen Dixit has also been sent to Chief justice of India.
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