Major security lapse...PM Modi jammed on a flyover for 20 minutes: What happened in Punjab?

In an unprecedented incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has on Wednesday got jammed on a flyover in Punjab as his convoy has faced an impasse, leaving him to cancel the tour. In what has been spelt as a major security lapse, the incident had swiftly drawn huge attention from across the nation and the Union Home Ministry has sought a report from the Punjab state government on the security lapse. 

While the BJP has blamed the Congress ruling Punjab government for stirring an impasse over Modi's election campaign, the lapse has sparked the debate on where Modi's itinerary went wrong. The visuals from the flyover had shown that Modi's convoy was stuck for 20 minutes and his car was surrounded by his security guards. The visuals have been going viral on social media and his tour was cancelled aftermath of the startling incident. Let's take a look at what has happened to the convoy in the poll-bound state. 

According to reports, the Prime Minister's convoy was travelling to address an election rally in the Ferozepur district in Punjab. When the convoy has reached a flyover near Hussainiwala, it was found that the road was blocked by some protesters. The convoy was stopped and stuck on the flyover for about 15-20 minutes. Following the roadblock, the tour was cancelled and the Prime Minister headed towards the airport and the people who had gathered at the election rally in Ferozepur were told that the Prime Minister's visit was cancelled. 

In a statement, Union Home Ministry has said, "Around 30 kms away from National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the PM's convoy has reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protesters. The PM was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of PM." The Ministry has said that it is taking cognisance of this serious security lapse and a detailed report has been sought from the state government. 

After the tour was cancelled, the Home Ministry further said that Prime Minister Modi had returned to the airport in Bathinda because of the lapse and it has blamed the Congress government for failing to prepare for the visit. At Ferozepur, where the Prime Minister was to address a rally, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has announced on the stage that Modi's visit was cancelled due to some reasons. 

Why did the Prime Minister take the road?

The Home Ministry said that the poor weather conditions had forced a change in his itinerary and it was later decided that the Prime Minister would travel to the National Martyrs Memorial via road, which was a journey of over two hours. The Home Ministry added that the Prime Minister's convoy had proceeded on the journey only after confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the Director-General of Police, Punjab. It alleged that the Punjab Government didn't deploy additional security as a contingency plan to secure any movement by road. 

The government sources had blamed the Punjab police for covertly acting with the protesters to block the Prime Minister's convoy. Speaking to a news agency, an official said, "Punjab Police knew the route of the Prime Minister. Such behaviour from the police has never been witnessed. This is the single biggest lapse in the security of any Indian Prime Minister in recent years." Modi was travelling from Bathinda to Ferozepur and after the lapse, he returned to Bathinda airport. 

BJP National President JP Nadda has staunchly reacted to the security lapse and castigated Punjab Chief Minister Channi. He wrote on social media, "It is sad that the PM's visit to launch development projects worth thousands of crores for Punjab was disrupted. But we will not let such a cheap mentality hinder the progress of Punjab and will continue the effort for the development of Punjab. The state police were instructed to prevent people from attending the rally. A large number of buses were stranded because of the high-handedness of the police & connivance with protestors." 

"To make matters worse, CM Channi refused to get on the phone to either address the matter or solve it. The tactics used by the Congress government in Punjab would pain anyone who believes in democratic principles", Nadda added. He further said, "Fearing a resounding defeat at the hands of the electorate, the Congress government in Punjab tried all possible tricks to scuttle PM's programmes in the state." Punjab is nearing the assembly polls along with four other states including Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Chief Minister of the BJP ruling Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "It's a matter of shame that PM Modi's cavalcade was stopped by protesters on his way to launch development schemes for the welfare of Punjab. This is a serious security lapse & the fact that the Punjab CM didn't address the issue makes matters even worse." "While PM is going all out to ensure holistic development of Punjab, today's incident shows how Congress is least interested in development & only wants to play politics. Such a security breach in the crucial border state must be enquired at the highest levels", Sarma added.