Punjab BJP President Ashwani Sharma. (ANI Photo)
Chandigarh: Punjab BJP President Ashwani Sharma on Wednesday rejected the high-level committee set up by the state government to probe the security lapses that occurred during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Ferozepur and alleged that Chief Minister Charanjeet Singh Channi was the "ringleader of conspiracy".
After meeting Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, the BJP state chief said, "We reject the committee set up by the Punjab government to investigate the matter."
"This committee formed by the Chief Minister will never be able to find out anything because he himself is the ringleader of this conspiracy," he alleged.
Sharma also told that he has requested the Governor to suspend the Home Minister and Director-General of Police (DGP) of Punjab.
"The protocols were not followed to receive the Prime Minister. Who leaked the Prime Minister's route?" he questioned.
A delegation of Punjab BJP leaders led by state president Ashwani Sharma today met Governor Banwarilal Purohit over the issue.
The Punjab government has constituted a high-level committee to probe the security lapses and has said that the committee will submit its report in three days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit Ferozepur on Wednesday to lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore.
The Home Ministry said in a statement that PM Modi landed at Bathinda on Wednesday morning from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out.
The statement said that when the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Martyrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. The Prime Minister proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police.
Around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the Prime Minister's convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protesters.
The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes."This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister'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," the statement said.
"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," it added.
It said only Punjab police knew the precise route of the PM and "never has such police behaviour been witnessed".The Home Ministry has taken cognizance of the "serious security lapse" and has sought a detailed report from the Punjab government. The state government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action.