Chandigarh | Jagran News Desk: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday stressed that there were no security lapses during PM Modi's Ferozepur visit and if there were any, the state government will conduct an inquiry. Channi also expressed regret that PM Modi had to return without inaugurating the development projects in Ferozepur.  

"I express regret that PM Modi had to return during his visit to Ferozepur district today. After all, he is the prime minister of the country. We respect him. There is a democratic system and federal system,” Channi said, adding, "If there were any security lapses during PM Modi's visit today, then we will conduct an inquiry. There was no danger to the prime minister". 

Modi, who landed in Bathinda and had to take the road route to Hussainiwala in Ferozepur because of the inclement weather, was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes due to blockade by some protesters, an incident the Union Home Ministry described as a "major lapse" in his security.

He said there was a sudden change in the prime minister's programme and the BJP should not politicise the issue. Channi said that he had to receive PM Modi in Bhatinda but didn't reach there as some of his close aides, who would accompany him, had tested positive for COVID-19.

"I had to receive the PM at Bathinda today but those who had to accompany me tested COVID positive. Hence, I did not go to receive the PM today as I was in close contact with some who tested positive", Channi said.

He further asserted that the state government had asked the PMO to cancel the visit due to inclement weather and had no information of PM's sudden route change. "We had asked them (PMO) to discontinue the visit due to bad weather conditions & protests. We had no information of his (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) sudden route change. There was no security lapse during the PM visit", he added.

Moreover, the Punjab CM defended the protesters and said that he can't lathi-charge them for protesting peacefully. "The farmers have been agitating peacefully for the last one year. I'm not going to lathi-charge at farmers. We spoke to farmers the whole last night after which they ended their agitation. Today, suddenly some agitators gathered in Ferozepur district", Channi said.

The Home Ministry has taken cognisance of the "serious security lapse" and has sought a detailed report from the Punjab government. The state government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action. In a statement, the MHA said that PM Modi landed at Bathinda on Wednesday morning from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter.

Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out. The statement said that when the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Martyrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. The Prime Minister proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police.

Around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the Prime Minister's convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors. The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes and eventually returned to Bhatinda airport.

 

(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan