top of page

Incident report and Aftermath of PM Modi’s security breach at Ferozepur

Niranjan Bhombe

Niranjan Bhombe

10 January 2022

"The Punjab Police filed an FIR in connection with the alleged security breach during PM Modi’s visit....."

The Incident

On Wednesday January 05, 2022, PM Narendra Modi’s convoy was stranded for around 20 minutes on a flyover in Ferozepur, Punjab, due to a blockade by protestors. The blockade was led by members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Krantikari), one of the 32 farm organizations that were part of the 14-month-long protests against the three farm laws.

The Prime Minister was supposed to fly to the National Martyrs' Memorial and later to the rally in a helicopter via the Bhatinda airport. But the trip was delayed by bad weather, and the convoy finally went by road when visibility did not improve. It got stuck some 30km (18 miles) from the memorial. The PM was also scheduled to address a rally in the city of Ferozepur, ahead of state elections. But the home ministry said the prime minister's convoy returned to the airport due to the security lapse.

Punjab government’s outlook

As the ruling party in Punjab is the Indian National Congress, this incident quickly turned into a war of words between the leaders of BJP and Congress. The Congress argued that the decision by the SPG – which protects the PM – to not use a helicopter and instead take the road to Ferozepur was made at the last minute, and not clearly communicated to state authorities.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi maintained that there had been no security lapse on the part of his government. He added that "We had asked them [Prime Minister's office] to discontinue the visit due to bad weather and protests. We had no information of the sudden change in route. There was no security lapse during the PM's visit" relaying similar sentiments as his parent political party.

CM Channi further added that he expresses regret over the incident and his government will investigate into the matter to find evidence of a security lapse.

Response from the Centre

Honorable Cabinet Minister Amit Shah led home ministry said it has sought a detailed report from Punjab government on the "serious security breach". It said "As per procedure, they [Punjab Government] have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready”.

The BJP contested that the incident set a dangerous precedent, and highlighted the lapses in security due to the Punjab Police and the State Government. Many leaders of the Centre alleged dirty politics was at play, and the congress party in Punjab purposely allowed the protesters to threaten the Prime Minister. Many security experts also pointed out that the security breach took place very close to the Pakistan Border and caused a potential threat to the life of PM Modi.

The Aftermath

The Punjab Police filed an FIR in connection with the alleged security breach during PM Modi’s visit. The Channi Government formed a committee of retired Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Principal Secretary, Home Affairs and Justice, Anurag Verma to conduct an investigation into the matter. The Ministry of Home Affairs ordered a report from the Punjab Government detailing all the events leading up to the incident.

A day after the incident, a video went viral on social media wherein a member of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Krantikari) can be heard thanking fellow protesters for blocking PM Modi's route. In the viral video, BKU-Krantikari leader Surjeet Singh Phool's supporter can be seen standing atop a bus and addressing some protesters. He said, "Your strength did not let Modi take out a rally”.

The Home ministry has constituted a three-member team to inquire into serious security breach during Prime Minister's visit to Punjab. The three-member committee will be led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security) & Cabinet Secretariat. The two other members in the team are Balbir Singh, Joint Director, Intelligence Bureau, and S Suresh, IG, SPG. The committee has been asked to inquire about the alleged lapses in the security arrangements of PM Modi “which led to the exposure of the VVIP to grave risk” and submit the report at the earliest.

Finally the Supreme Court today took up a petition seeking a thorough investigation into the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Punjab on Wednesday. The plea, filed by the NGO Lawyers Voice, has sought action against those responsible for the security lapse and appropriate directions to the Punjab government to prevent the recurrence of such an incident in the future. Private cars were also seen approaching PM Modi’s convoy, which was a major security lapse.

Our Take

The Prime Minister is a sacred institution that represents all of Bharat, putting the PM’s life in any sort of danger is a breach of National Security. The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover where there was no route to turn back and the vehicles in the opposite lane of the flyover could easily see PM’s Motorcade stranded on the highway.

This incident is a serious matter and has to be investigated thoroughly, if the INC, or the Punjab Government attempted to gain political brownie points by endangering the life of Bharat’s Prime Minister, they should be held responsible. The Indian National Congress should understand the severity of the situation as it has already its leaders due to a security lapses. Honorable Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were assassinated by terrorists due to major security lapses.

The situation becomes even direr as Ferozepur is a mere 85 kilometers from the Pakistan border, this put PM Modi in-danger from our historical enemy Pakistan. The Prime Minister’s security should never be put at a risk, not for gaining political advantage and certainly not for any sort of protests. Such an incident should never be repeated and those responsible for this mishap should be punished accordingly.

bottom of page