The protesters at the flyover where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was stuck for nearly 20 minutes on Wednesday due to the blockade said the Punjab police had asked them to vacate the road, but they “did not believe them and thought that the officers were lying” about the PM’s route.
“We were at least 10 km away from PM Modi’s convoy. We didn’t know that he was coming by road. The villagers told us later that it was the prime minister’s convoy on the flyover,” Surjeet Singh Phool of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Krantikari) told CNN News18.
He further said that the change in PM’s programme from by air to road is questionable that too few hours before. “There was no plan to stop the prime minister’s convoy. We were told around 12:30-1:00 PM that we have to vacate the road. We couldn’t believe. We thought they are lying to us,” Phool added.
“Usually the route for the prime minister is cleared at least two to three hours before the convoy has to pass. The PM does not change the plan so suddenly,” the BKU(K) leader said.
The Punjab government, meanwhile, on Thursday constituted a high level committee “thoroughly probe” into the security lapse during PM Modi’s Ferozepur visit.
“The Committee would comprise Justice (Retd.) Mehtab Singh Gill and Principal Secretary, Home Affairs and Justice Anurag Verma. The Committee shall submit its report within three days,” an official spokesperson said.
Modi, who was travelling by road in Punjab, 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.
In a statement, the Home Ministry said after the “major security lapse” in the prime minister’s travel in Punjab, his convoy decided to return. The ministry also asked the Punjab government to fix responsibility for the lapse and take strict action, the statement said.