Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday accused the Charanjit Singh Channi government of Punjab of endangering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s life by asking farmer leaders to block the rout of his convoy to Ferozepur.
Mr Khattar made the allegation in the wake of a sting operation of a TV news channel on the breach of the PM Modi’s security, purportedly showing the “SHO” of the relevant Punjab police station telling the channel that he was asked “to block the crowd and roads” and “he carried out these instructions”.
In a Haryana government statement, Mr Khattar was quoted as saying that “the CID (Punjab) had also warned that an alternate route might have to be planned in the wake of bad weather conditions”.
“Far from making any arrangements, the Punjab government gave clear instructions to farmer leaders on how to block the path of the Prime Minister. By doing so, they have put his life in danger,” the Haryana chief minister said in the statement.
Mr Khattar as well as state’s Home Minister Anil Vij too earlier hit out at the Channi government over the PM Modi’s security breach, citing a ‘sting’ done by a news channel which purportedly showed some Punjab Police officials telling the channel that they had informed their superiors about protesters blocking the route of PM Modi’s cavalcade but no action was taken.
“In the sting operation of a national news channel, it has become clear that there was a CID report warning about bad weather and therefore an arrangement for an alternative route should be made.
“Prime Minister Shri @narendra modi ji’s life was deliberately put in danger, I strongly condemn it,” Mr Khattar said in a tweet in Hindi earlier.
“I strongly condemn that the security of the Prime Minister had been comprised,” he later said in a state government’s statement.
Referring to his earlier demand of dismissal of the Channi government and holding the Punjab assembly elections under President Rule, he said, “It has come to the fore through sting operation that an SHO is telling how he was directed to block the crowd and roads. He carried out these instructions”.
Referring to the sting operation by the news channel, Vij told reporters, “There is no doubt in the minds of the people that it was a conspiracy of the Punjab government under which the Prime Minister was stopped”.
PM Modi’s Punjab visit on January 5 was cut short as he was stranded on a flyover near Ferozepur for 20 minutes due to a blockade by protesters.
After the security lapse, PM Modi’s convoy decided to return without attending an event which included paying tributes at a martyrs’ memorial at Hussainiwala and inaugurating developmental projects. The prime minister also could not attend a rally in Ferozepur.
Mr Channi has been insisting that there was no threat to PM Modi. The Congress party has suggested that the decision to cut short the prime minister’s trip was caused by the alleged thin attendance at his rally.
The Supreme Court has constituted a panel to probe the entire episode.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)