Supreme Court appoints panel to probe PM security breach in Punjabtext_fields
Former justice Indu Malhotra has been appointed at the helm of a Supreme Court panel to prove the alleged security lapse that left Prime Minister Narendra Modi stuck in traffic along a flyover to Ferozepur in Punjab for almost 15-20 minutes last week. The issue caused political furore with the BJP alleging the Punjab Congress had deliberately neglected security arrangements.
The other members of the committee are the director-general of the National Investigation Agency, director-general of police Chandigarh, additional director-general of police (security) Punjab, and registrar general of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
"These questions cannot be left upon any one sided enquiry. We need an independent probe," the Supreme Court said, adding that the inquiry committee would submit its report "at the earliest".
The Punjab government has been asked by the Supreme Court to submit details of the PM's security arrangements on the day the incident took place. The Court has also announced that the officials in charge and many others will be investigated as part of the attempt to find out how and why a breach had occured and how to prevent the same happening for other VVIP's.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) last Thursday constituted a three-member committee to probe into the lapses in the security arrangement during PM Modi's visit to Punjab's Ferozepur. The committee will be led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, secretary (security), Cabinet Secretariat.
The MHA had condemned the 'egregious' breach of security suffered by the PM on his way to the National Martyr's Memorial in Punjab where he was due to address a rally. Protestors had blocked the road, resulting in the PM's convoy getting stuck on the highway.
BJP leaders like Smriti Irani had also called out the Congress government for having deliberately engineered the breach in security to endanger the life of the Prime Minister. However Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had clarified that though the PM had been offered an alternate route to his destination, he had refused and opted to return to Bhatinda airport instead.
The road route was arranged after a helicopter trip to Ferozepur was postponed due to inclement weather according to reports.