A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's security was breached in Punjab when his convoy halted on a route blocked by some protesting farmers, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Thursday, 6 January, said that the farmers had no intention of obstructing the PM's visit.
The SKM said that protests were being held across the state over the farmers' demands from the central government, and that the farmers had no information that they were on the PM's route.
"On receiving the news of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit to Punjab on January 5, ten farmer organisations affiliated to the Samyukta Kisan Morcha had announced a symbolic protest for the arrest of Ajay Mishra Teni and other outstanding demands... There was no program to stop the Prime Minister's visit or obstruct his program."Samyukt Kisan Morcha
"When some farmers were stopped by the police administration from going to the district headquarters of Ferozepur, they protested by sitting on the road at many places. Of these, was that flyover of Pyarayana too where the Prime Minister's convoy came, stopped and went back. The farmers protesting there had no concrete information that the Prime Minister's convoy was going to pass through. They got this information from the media after the Prime Minister's return," the farmers' body said in a statement.
'Threat to PM's Life Seems Concocted': SKM
The SKM further asserted that there was no threat to PM Modi's life due to the protesters.
"It is clear from the video of the occasion that the protesting farmers did not even make any effort to go towards the Prime Minister's convoy. Only a group with BJP flag and raising "Narendra Modi Zindabad" slogan had reached near that convoy. Therefore, the threat to the life of the Prime Minister seems completely concocted," it stated.
Prime Minister Modi, who had been scheduled to address a rally and launch multiple projects in Punjab on Wednesday, had returned to the Bhatinda airport cutting his visit to the state short, after a 'security lapse.'
In a statement, the MHA declared that around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, the PM’s convoy, which was on a flyover, couldn't proceed further as the road was blocked by protesters.
"The PM was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of the PM," as per the MHA.
'We Thought Police Was Trying to Trick & Remove Us': Protesters
Farmers who had been protesting on the flyover where PM Modi's cavalcade had halted told the media that they had no knowledge that the prime minister would be using that route.
Speaking to NDTV, the protesters said that though they had been informed by the police after they started their roadblock, they had not believed them.
"We thought the police were trying to remove us from the road. There is a helipad built for the PM that side so why would he come by the road? The police were trying to trick us, we thought," said Baldev Zira, one of the protesters.