Chandigarh, December 6
The Union Home Department has expressed strong displeasure to the Punjab Government over the lack of action against senior police officers, who were held responsible for the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state in January last year.
Though a committee, appointed by the Supreme Court and headed by a retired Judge, had indicted a number of officers, including then DGP Sidharth Chattopadhyaya and Chief Secretary Anirudh Tewari, besides several ADGPs, IGs and SSPs, for the security lapse, the state government is yet to take action against them.
Most officers belong to IPS cadre
- Though a committee appointed by the SC had indicted a number of officers, including then DGP Sidharth Chattopadhyaya and Chief Secretary Anirudh Tewari, for the security lapse, the state government is yet to take action against them
- Most of these officers belong to the IPS cadre. The state government has so far suspended only seven officials, all from Punjab Police Service cadre
Most of these officers belong to the Indian Police Service (IPS) cadre. The state government had so far only suspended seven officials, all were the Punjab Police Service cadre. Sources said the Centre was livid at the delay in action against the officers. In the recent letter, the Union Home Department had warned that it would take action on its own against them (as they come under the IPS cadre), if the state government didn’t take punitive measures immediately. No police and civil administration official was willing to comment on the development. They claimed the process of taking action was underway.
Officials said the action was delayed as some of the indicted officers had not replied to the show-cause notice. They had sought the record of the PM-visit security management, saying they did not remember the minute-by-minute details.
This is the second time within nine months that the Home Department has criticised the state government over the issue. The Home Department is under the BJP-led NDA government while the state government is run by its arch rival Aam Aadmi Party.
The state government had last month suspended SP Gurvinder Singh, DSPs Prason Singh and Jagdish Kumar and others.
Besides the then DGP and Chief Secretary, the Justice Indu Malhotra Committee’s report, submitted on August 25, 2022, also held DIG Inderbir Singh and SSP, Ferozepur, Harmandeep Singh responsible for the security lapse during PM Narendra Modi’s visit on January 5, 2022.
In March 2023, when Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla questioned the delay in taking action against the implicated officials. Subsequently, the government issued an action taken report, notices and a chargesheet. However, with no substantial action being taken even after eight more months, the Home Ministry has issued a fresh strongly worded letter, raising the possibility of the ministry taking action, if the government remains inert.
The incident had occurred during the PM’s rally in Ferozepur. Protesters had blocked his convoy as he headed to pay homage at the Martyrdom Memorial in Hussainiwala.
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