PM's 'security breach': MHA issues showcause notice to Bathinda SSP, 5 other officers; warns of disciplinary action

It has been learnt that the Bathinda SSP piloted the motorcade from Bathinda to Ferozepur

PM's 'security breach': MHA issues showcause notice to Bathinda SSP, 5 other officers; warns of disciplinary action

Photo for representation purposes. iStock

Sameer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 7

Following the alleged security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Punjab visit, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a showcause notice to the Bathinda Senior Superintendent of Police, telling him to reply within a day.

In the strongly-worded letter, a copy of which is with The Tribune, Archana Varma, Deputy Secretary to the Centre, has stated that since there was grave security lapse during the PM's visit, the Bathinda SSP is directed to 'show cause' as to why action should not be initiated against him under the law including disciplinary action under All India Services (Discipline and Appeal), Rules, 1969, the acts of omission and commission.

The letter says: “Your reply should be received in this ministry on or before January 8 by 5 pm, failing which it would be presumed that you have nothing to say and disciplinary action as deemed fit would be initiated against you.

“It is abundantly clear that the route clearance was given without adequately attending to all security concerns pointed out in the ASL meetings on January 1 and 2. As per the Blue Book and established procedures as Superintendent of Police, Bathinda, you were mandated to make adequate arrangements for the security and logistics for the VVIP's visit and also to make contingency plan for movement of VVIP by road with necessary deployment of security forces. It is manifestly obvious that a contingency plan with attendant security deployment was either not made or not put to effect when so required,” stated the ministry of home affairs letter. 

“The contingency rehearsal for road journey from AFS Bathinda to Ferozepur was also carried out on January 4. Notwithstanding the ASL report emphasising the need to have a strong police deployment for road journey and contingency rehearsal, adequate security deployment for contingency movement by road was not made and the VVIP's cavalcade was blocked with tractors, trolleys and school buses by a group of protesters about 30 km from National Martyrs Memorial in Hussaniwala,” said the letter.

It has been learnt that the Bathinda SSP piloted the motorcade from Bathinda to Ferozepur.

The letter by the MHA pointed out, “As provided in Section 14 of the Special Protection Group (SPG), 1988, the state government and every civil authority is legally obligated to provide all assistance to the SPG and, therefore, you as SSP Bathinda were obligated to make adequate security arrangements but available information so far indicates that police at the protest site was found to be inactive, senior police officers present at the site were also found to be ineffective in making efforts to facilitate movement of carcade of the VVIP. Throughout the route only skeletal police deployment was observed.”

Bathinda SSP Ajay Maluja and Deputy Commissioner Arvind Pal Singh Sandhu did not respond to repeated attempts for their version.

Joint Secretary directs admn, police officials to join probe

In another letter issued by the office of secretary (security), Centre, D Sai Amutha Devi, Joint Secretary (Security) has asked senior police and civil administration officials to join the probe.

In the letter, the joint secretary has said that Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat, along with two members of the probe committee would visit Ferozepur on January 7 to conduct an inquiry.

Showcause notice issued to 5 more officials

PTI adds: Meanwhile, showcause notices were served on at least five other senior officers of the Punjab Police who were on duty during the prime minister's visit, an official said in New Delhi on Friday.

The identity of the other officers were not disclosed immediately, but sources said they are police officers on the rank of SSP, DIG and above.

The Home Ministry, through its showcause notices, has asked the officers as to why action should not be initiated against them under the law including disciplinary proceedings as prescribed in the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal), Rules, 1969, for the acts of omission and commission.

Tribune Shorts


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