PM’s security breach: Punjab prepares to take action against senior officers indicted in SC panel’s report

The Punjab Government is preparing to take action against several senior officials indicted in the Supreme Court-appointed committee’s report into the breach of security during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state on January 5 last year.

The state government is preparing an Action Taken Report (ATR) in the matter after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sought it two days ago. Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua told The Indian Express that they will take action on the SC committee report as per the rules. “There will not be any delay. After all, it is a matter of the Prime Minister’s security. We will have to take action. I was busy with President Droupadi Murmu’s visit to Amritsar when the MHA wrote to us. After coming back, I am on it. We are replying to the Centre and will inform them about the action taken by us,” he said.

Submitted six months ago, the report of the Supreme Court-appointed inquiry committee had indicted the then state chief secretary Anirudh Tewari, the then police chief S Chattopadhyaya, and other top officers for lapses. The government had, however, not taken any action.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has now asked Janjua to submit an action taken report, highlighting the state government’s delay in acting against the erring officers.

The committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Indu Malhotra, indicted Senior Superintendents of Police Harmandeep Singh Hans and Charanjit Singh , Anirudh Tewari, Chattopadhyaya, Additional Director Generals of Police G Nageswara Rao and Naresh Arora, Inspectors General Rakesh Aggarwal and Inderbir Singh and the then deputy inspector general Surjeet Singh (now retired).

The report was submitted on August 25 last year. The Centre wrote to the state in September last year, but no action was taken.

The Supreme Court had ordered the inquiry after PM Modi’s convoy was stranded for half an hour on a flyover when he was travelling by road from Bathinda airport to Ferozepur on January 5, 2022.

Several protesters gathered at the end of the flyover, prompting the Special Protection Group (SPG) to halt the convoy. The Prime Minister had to head back without addressing a rally for which he was in Punjab. Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi was the chief minister then.

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