PM Modi’s security breach in January 2022


08:36 AM

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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • In Focus: PM’s Security Planning
  • How is PM’s security planned?
  • What is chalked out during the meeting?
  • Different layers of security
  • What happens if plans change suddenly?
  • What if there are spontaneous protests?
  • Background

Why in news?

  • The Punjab government has suspended Gurbinder Singh, Superintendent of Police, Bathinda.
  • He was suspended for dereliction of duty over a major breach of security protocol during PM Modi’s visit in January 2022 to Punjab’s Ferozepur district.

How is PM’s security planned?

  • Planning of the PM’s security during any visit involves central agencies and state police forces. Broad guidelines are laid down in what is called the SPG’s Blue Book.
    • SPG (Special Protection Group) is mainly responsible for PM’s security.
  • Three days before any planned visit the SPG holds a mandatory Advance Security Liaison (ASL) with everyone involved in securing the event.
    • This also includes Intelligence Bureau officials in the concerned state, state police officials and the concerned district magistrate.
  • Once the meeting is over, an ASL report is prepared, based on which all security arrangements are made.

What is chalked out during the meeting?

  • The meeting discusses how the PM would arrive (by air, road or rail) and, once he lands, how he would reach the venue (generally by helicopter or road).
    • Inputs of central agencies and local intelligence are taken into consideration.
  • The security of the venue — which involves aspects such as entry and exit, frisking of those coming to the venue, and placing of door frame metal detectors — is discussed.
    • Even the structural stability of the dais is checked.

Different layers of security

  • SPG only gives proximate security.
  • When PM is travelling to any state, it is the responsibility of the state police to ensure overall security.
    • They have the responsibility of intelligence gathering, route clearance, venue sanitisation and crowd management.
  • Central intelligence agencies are responsible for providing inputs about any threat.
    • However, it is the SPG that takes the final call on how the security is to be arranged.
      • The SPG never allows the PM’s movement until the local police give the go-ahead.
  • State police are also supposed to conduct anti-sabotage checks and secure the route by placing not only men on the roads but also snipers on rooftops.
    • The state police also provide a pilot that leads the PM’s cavalcade.
    • If he is likely to stay at a place, an SP-level officer is deputed as camp commandant to ensure security.
    • During public meetings, rallies and road shows, apart from policemen, an SP is deputed to post men in plain-clothes for security.

What happens if plans change suddenly?

  • A contingency plan is always made in advance. That is why the weather report is taken into consideration.
    • If because of bad weather, the PM can’t fly to the venue.
      • So, an alternative route by road is planned in advance, the route is sanitised and security placed on the road even if the PM is supposed to fly.
    • If for any reason the route is found to be not clear, the state police do not give the go-ahead. The visit is cancelled.

What if there are spontaneous protests?

  • Protests are always a threat to any VIP’s visit and thus elaborate planning is made in advance by the state police to thwart them.
  • Generally, local intelligence has inputs on which groups are planning a protest and preventive action is taken.
  • Physical and electronic surveillance is mounted to gather information on such surprises.
    • If there is a planned protest that cannot be stalled, then the route is avoided.


  • On January 5, 2022 the Prime Minister’s cavalcade, on its way to Hussainiwala in Punjab, ran into a blockade by protesters en-route.
  • As a result, the convoy stranded on a flyover in Punjab’s Ferozepur district for around 20 minutes - a major breach of security protocol.
  • On January 13, responding to the PILs filed, the SC had set up a 5-member committee headed by Justice Indu Malhotra to inquire into security lapses.
  • In August 2022, the SC-appointed committee has indicted the then Ferozepur SSP Harmandeep Singh Hans for serious lapses in the PM security case.
    • The committee has also suggested certain remedial measures and safeguards required for the Prime Minister’s security. This includes:
      • Constitution of an oversight committee for periodic revision and updation of the Blue Book
      • holding sensitisation courses for training police officers and
      • security planning for VVIP visits.

Q1) What is Blue Book?

The "Blue Book" is a manual that details security for the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, and their families. The "Blue Book" was amended to include new protocols for proximate protection.

Q2) What is Special Protection Group (SPG)?

The Special Protection Group (SPG) was created in 1985 to provide security to the Prime Minister, former Prime Ministers, and their immediate family members. The SPG is an armed force of the Union. The Home Ministry issues guidelines for security cover in coordination with different intelligence agencies.

Source: Punjab Govt suspends SP over security breach during PM visit in January last year | Hindustan Times | Times of India