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PM’s Punjab rally axed after a security breach

Calling it "a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister", the Union Home Ministry said in a statement that the incident took place around 30 km from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala.

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Bathinda (Punjab): A rally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hussainiwala in Punjab on Wednesday was cancelled following major breach in security when some protesters blocked a flyover on which he was proceeding to the venue by road.

Calling it “a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister”, the Union Home Ministry said in a statement that the incident took place around 30 km from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala.

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“When the PM’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors,” it said. “The PM was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse.”

The statement said Modi landed at Bathinda from where he was to go to Hussainiwala by helicopter. Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out.

When the weather didn’t improve, it was decided that he would visit the Memorial via road, which would have taken more than two hours.

The Ministry said: “He (Modi) proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police.

“The PM’s schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready.

“Also, in view of the contingency plan, the Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed.

“After this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda airport.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs taking cognisance of this serious security lapse has sought a detailed report from the state government. The state government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action,” it said.

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