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Flex Point Security / Unsplash

Union Home Ministry was the first to term the incident as a “security breach”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had wanted to visit Punjab to the foundations of numerous developmental projects. These included the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway; the project of creation of four lanes for the Amritsar-Una section and the Mukerian-Talwara New Broad Gauge Railway line. The PM was, also, supposed to lay the foundation stone for Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research’s satellite centre at Firozpur. On Wednesday, he had tweeted that he looks forward to being amongst his brothers and sisters of Punjab.

Punjab is about to have elections in the near future. This was PM Modi’s first visit to the state after the government had repealed the farm laws. The rally that he was supposed to address was to kickstart BJP’s poll campaign in Punjab. Currently, the Aam Aadmi Party is being considered as the main opponent of the current ruling party in Punjab, Congress.

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While the PM’s convoy was on its way to the rally at Firozpur, when it was 30kms from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainwala, it was found out that the road is blocked by some protestors. Later on, the Home Ministry released a statement saying, “The PM was stuck on the flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of the PM. .... after this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda airport.” From there he flew back to Delhi.

Image of Narendra Modi PM Modi’s first visit to the state after he was forced to repeal the farm laws.Wikipedia

The statement from the Union Home Ministry termed the incident as a “security breach” and that the Punjab Government was responsible. There were several comments on the incident while some were of the thought that “The serious breach in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security in Punjab on Wednesday represents the lowest phase in Indian politics. It is a clear sign of the desperation of the Congress and the level of animosity against the elected Prime Minister of the country.” While other varied, saying that the visit was called off because of a fear of low turnout at the rally.

On the same day when this incident took place, the Kisan Ekta Morcha, which was the official handle of the farmers’ movement, tweeted under the hashtag “Go Back Modi” : “Let’s make it very clear. This is because of huge protest by farmers and people of Punjab that Modi had to cancel his event. There were very few people in the rally ground. Most of them were forced to attend. The rally is cancelled due to negative response by Punjabis.”

Image of a police personnel According to him, “There was no risk to the Prime Minister." LOGAN WEAVER / Unsplash

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli said: “We deem it appropriate for the time being to direct the Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court to secure and preserve the records relating to the Prime Minister's scheduled tour of Punjab on January 5, 2022... We direct the Director General of Police, Union Territory of Chandigarh and an officer of the National Investigation Agency, not below the rank of Inspector General, to be nominated by the Director General, National Investigation Agency, to assist the Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court to forthwith secure and seize the records from the State police as well as Central agencies.”

On the Friday, 07 January 2022, several BJP MPs protested against the security breach of PM Narendra Modi’s convoy in Punjab. They gathered near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Parliament complex. The MPs accused Punjab government and the senior Congress leaders for “conspiring to kill the Prime Minister”. The Punjab Chief Minister, on the other hand, said, “There was no risk to the Prime Minister. .... He is our Prime Minister. If there were a threat to his life, I would shed my blood before his (could be shed). This is how Punjabis are.”

Image of protestors It was found out that the road had been blocked by some protestors. Gayatri Malhotra / Unsplash

Such a security breach of the Indian Prime Minister is of a rare nature. Such incidents in the past, when happened have led to severe consequences. How the incident took place had been different but there had been a loop hole in the security of the Prime Minister. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi had taken place because of such a security breach. A suicide bomber wearing an RDX explosive-laden belt under her clothes had been able to reach Rajiv Gandhi, which caused his death.

(Keywords : Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, security, breach, Punjab, India, development, elections, farm laws, campaign, protestors, convoy, Home Ministry, government, politics, animosity, farmers, people, Parliament.)



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