Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Monday ordered the initiation of "disciplinary proceedings for major penalty" against former DGP S Chattopadhyaya and two other police officers over the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the state in January last year. Apart from Chattopadhyaya who has since retired, the disciplinary proceedings for major penalty will be initiated against Inderbir Singh, the then deputy inspector general (DIG) of police of Ferozepur range, and Harmandeep Singh Hans, the then senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Ferozepur.
Official sources said these officers would be asked to submit their responses. According to the Home Affairs department's communication to the Personnel department issued on Monday, Mann also decided that explanations be sought from Naresh Arora, the then ADGP (Law and Order), G Nageshwara Rao, the then ADGP Cyber Crime, Mukhvinder Singh Chhina, the then IGP Patiala Range, Rakesh Agrawal, the then IG Counter Intelligence and Nodal Officer, Surjeet Singh, the then DIG Faridkot, and Charanjit Singh, the then SSP Moga, as to why disciplinary proceedings should not be initiated against them as recommended in the Supreme Court-constituted inquiry committee report.
The move came after the Supreme Court-appointed committee, which probed the security breach during Prime Minister Modi's visit to Punjab in January 2022, had indicted several state officers for lapses. On January 5, 2022, Modi's convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters in Ferozepur after which he returned from Punjab without attending any event, including a rally. The top court on January 12 last year had appointed the committee to probe the breach, saying these questions cannot be left to "one-sided inquiries" as they needed "judicially trained independent minds" to investigate.
The Union Home Secretary had last month written to the Punjab chief secretary to submit an action taken report in the matter. A few days ago, Punjab Chief Secretary V K Janjua had said that the state government would send an action taken report to the Centre. The chief secretary had then said that penalties to the erring officials can include stopping increments, demotion and in worse case dismissal of those still in service. The security breach ahead of the Punjab assembly elections led to a major political controversy.