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Total Fatalities 425,195
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Today's Fatalities 422
Today's Cases 30,549
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 425,195
Total Cases 31,726,507
Today's Fatalities 422
Today's Cases 30,549

INDIA

Modi ‘security breach’: India’s top court forms probe panel

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi addresses the convocation ceremony of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, on December 28, 2021. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE Supreme Court of India on Wednesday (12) said investigations into the alleged security breach that left prime minister Narendra Modi’s convoy stranded on a flyover in the poll-bound state of Punjab for 20 minutes last week will be led by a retired judge, Justice Indu Malhotra.

Officials of India’s elite National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Punjab Police will be part of the probe.

“These questions cannot be left upon any one-sided inquiry. We need an independent probe,” the apex court said, adding that the inquiry committee would submit its report “at the earliest”.

The panel will see into what caused the alleged breach, who was responsible and what safeguards are required to prevent such lapses in future.

The probe will feature the NIA director general, the police chief of Chandigarh, the additional director general of Punjab Police (security) and the registrar general of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The incident of January 5 sparked a massive political row after Modi was stuck on the flyover while going to a rally, thanks to a farmers’ protest.

The issue ignited a war of words between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress, the ruling party of Punjab. The central and state governments blamed each other over alleged lapses in protocol.

While the central government called it a “complete intelligence failure” and a “clear violation of the SPG (Special Protection Group) Act”, the Punjab government said it had no role to play in the last-minute change in the prime minister’s travel plans. Modi was originally scheduled to fly to the site by a helicopter but had to travel by road eventually as the weather was poor.

The Congress accused the BJP saying it was using the security breach allegations to cover up the embarrassment of thin crowds at the rally that the prime minister was supposed to address on the day.

Earlier, the Supreme Court led by chief justice NV Ramana had asked both the central and state governments to hold their investigations into the case.

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