The Centre is likely to take action against Punjab Police officers under the Special Protection Group (SPG) Act in connection with the alleged security breach in the route of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Punjab’s Ferozepur on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the prime minister’s convoy was stranded for 15-20 minutes atop a flyover, 30 km from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, where he was headed to inaugurate a slew of projects, after protesting farmers blocked the road.
As demanded by the Union Home Ministry in the wake of the event, the Punjab Chief Secretary on Friday submitted a report on the “security breach” and informed that a case has been filed into the incident and the state government has constituted a panel to investigate the matter. The committee is expected to submit its report within three days.
Despite this, the Centre plans to take action against Punjab officials responsible for the security goof-up, media reports said quoting sources. These officers may be summoned to Delhi for questioning and a central-level inquiry may be initiated against them.
Officials privy to the matter told a well-known news website that the “security lapse” on Wednesday violated the SPG Act as the state government failed to fulfill the protocols mandated by the SPG to ensure the prime minister’s safe movement.
Under Section 14 of the SPG Act, the state government shares the responsibility with the Centre and central agencies to assist the SPG in securing the prime minister’s movement.
“It shall be the duty of every ministry and department of the central government or the state government or the Union territory administration, every Indian mission, every local or other authority or every civil or military authority to act in aid of the director or any member of the Group whenever called upon to do so in furtherance of the duties and responsibilities assigned to such Director or member,” the provision titled ‘Assistance to Group’ reads.
Following the attack on the convoy of BJP president JP Nadda in West Bengal in December 2020, the Centre had called three IPS officers who were in charge of Nadda’s security, to Delhi on central deputation. The officers, however, did not join duty as the Mamata Banerjee government refused to release them.