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Punjab: With potshots at Cong, opponents keep political pot boiling over PM security breach

🔴 The security challenge has become graver with new methods being employed to smuggle explosives into Punjab, including through drones, and the recovery of tiffin bombs. Several drones have been recovered in Punjab beginning with recovery of the first one in 2019.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 17, 2022 1:59:20 am
Punjab, Punjab latest news, Punjab assembly elections, Punjab polls 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PM Modi, PM Modi security breach, Punjab Congress, indian expressFormer CM Amarinder Singh, who had been always voicing concerns about security threat from Pakistan, had gone on to demand President’s Rule in Punjab after the PM security breach. (PTI photo)

The January 5 security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab has emerged as a big issue close to forthcoming Assembly elections with opponents training guns on the ruling Congress government.

More so as it came in the backdrop of Punjab Police having busted several terror modules in the recent years. Punjab, a border state, has always remained on tenterhooks due to smuggling of arms and ammunition, grenades and other explosive from across the border from Pakistan aimed at carrying out terror strikes.

The security challenge has become graver with new methods being employed to smuggle explosives into Punjab, including through drones, and the recovery of tiffin bombs. Several drones have been recovered in Punjab beginning with recovery of the first one in 2019. The police, on Friday last week, recovered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) weighing 5 kg from a village near border in Amritsar district.

On Thursday, 2.5 kg RDX, one detonator, codex wire, five explosive fuses along with wires, and 12 live cartridges of an AK-47 assault rifle from Gurdaspur, were recovered soon after the arrest of six operatives of International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), who confessed to have carried out two grenade attacks in Pathankot including the one at the Pathankot Army Camp. The recovery from Gurdaspur was made on the disclosure statement of one of the accused in the case.

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When these six ISYF students were arrested Monday last week, cops had recovered six hand-grenades (86P), one pistol (9mm), one rifle (.30 bore) along with live bullets and magazines from their possession. On December 23, there was bomb blast in Ludhiana court complex, killing the one who is alleged to have been carrying the explosive. Former CM Amarinder Singh, who had been always voicing concerns about security threat from Pakistan, had gone on to demand President’s Rule in Punjab after the PM security breach.

On January 6, he added, “There was a grave security lapse and CM (Charanjit Singh Channi) and Deputy CM (Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa), who heads the Home department, should take responsibility.”

Amarinder Singh has floated new party Punjab Lok Congress and is going to February 14 polls in alliance with the BJP and breakaway Akali Dal faction – the SAD (Sanyukt).

Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma during a press conference in Ludhiana on January 8 had said, “This isn’t about the BJP. This is about the security of the PM of this country and there was a conspiracy behind this episode. It was a relief that the PM came out safe and sound due to the prayers of crores of people. The Congress should not forget that because of security lapses, the country had already lost two of its PMs in the past.” Sharma was reacting to CM Channi’s remarks that state had no information that PM could take the road route. Sharma added Advance Security Liasoning (ASL) report sent to Punjab government in January indicated that he may travel via road too.

A day after he got interim bail from Punjab and Haryana High Court in drugs case against him, Majithia addressed a press conference in Chandigarh and while speaking on the security breach said it was “grace of God” that nothing happened (to the PM).

Hitting out Congress government in the state, he also said: “What has happened in the past? Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the persons who went to meet him. Indira Gandhi has a past….Had anything happened, what face would Punjabis have shown.”

On January 12, the day Supreme Court flagged the “blame game” and “war of words” between the Centre and the Punjab government, two chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assam) and Biplab Kumar Deb (Tripura), alleged the involvement of “Khalistanis”, with Sarma even demanding the arrest of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for the “conspiracy to kill” the PM.

Along with Sarma and Deb, other CMs — Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), alleged that the flyover where the PM’s convoy was stranded was “just a few km from the Pakistan border”, vulnerable to “drones, missiles and snipers”.

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