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Punjab Police file FIR in Modi security breach case, make no mention of blocking of PM’s convoy

Modi had been on his way to address a rally in Punjab's Ferozepur Wednesday, when protesting farmers blocked the road, resulting in the PM being stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes.

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Chandigarh: The Punjab Police have registered an FIR at the Kulgari police station in Ferozepur in the case of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “security breach” on 5 January.

The PM had been on his way to address a rally in Punjab’s Ferozepur Wednesday, when protesting farmers blocked the road, resulting in the PM being stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. Modi had to finally cancel his visit and turn back without attending the rally. The Ministry of Home Affairs has called the incident a “major security breach”.

An FIR was registered in the case at 7:40 p.m. on 7 January, two days after the incident. The four page FIR, of which ThePrint has a copy, is in the format of a standard complaint as registered in any routine case under section 283 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and is based on the statement of a police inspector.

According to section 283 of the IPC, “Whoever, by doing any act, or by omitting to take order with any property in his possession or under his charge, causes danger, obstruction or injury to any person in any public way or public line of navigation, shall be punished, with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees.”

While the section under which the FIR has been lodged is comparatively mild — considering the incident involves the security of the PM — what is even more interesting is that there is no mention of the obstruction caused to the Prime minister’s convoy or a “security breach”.

No one is named in the FIR, and it is only registered against “unknown persons” for obstruction of a public road. This is the first complaint lodged by Punjab Police in the case.


Also read: PM’s security breach highlights Punjab’s DGP problem: 3rd incumbent in 4 months now under fire


Just a formality?

The FIR is based on a statement by inspector Balbir Singh, and claims that the officer was on security duty on 5 January.

“While I was returning to the police station I received information that the Ferozepur-Moga road had been blocked, near Piareana village, by unknown persons and unidentified persons, sitting on a dharna on the road,” the FIR quotes the inspector as saying.

The road block had led to traffic disruption for the general public, those on their way to the rally in Ferozepur and some VIPs, adds the FIR.

“I reached the spot with other employees at around 2.30-3 p.m. After doing my law and order duty, I reached the police station and gave information regarding this blockage by unknown persons,” the FIR further quotes the officer.

There is no mention in the FIR that the movement of the Prime Minister’s convoy had been blocked on the flyover and that he was stuck there for about 20 minutes, before he turned back towards Bathinda.

Sources in the Punjab government said that the FIR has been lodged only to show the union home ministry that the state police is actively pursuing the case.

In a press conference Wednesday Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had expressed “regret and pain” at the cancellation of the PM’s scheduled visit to Ferozepur, but he maintained that there had been no security lapse on the part of his government, and nothing that could have jeopardised the PM’s safety.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)


Also read: PM Modi’s security failed in Punjab. Waste no time on conspiracies, it’s colossal incompetence


 

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