Who Came Near PM Modi's Convoy in Punjab? Here's What We Know
News reports have indicated that farmers were responsible for the putting the PM in a compromising spot.
Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's convoy was stranded in Punjab for about 20 minutes due to protests, a video has emerged which shows people holding BJP flags and raising "BJP zindabad" slogans very close to the prime minister's car.
In the video clip, a crowd on the opposite side of the flyover can be seen hailing PM Modi and BJP. A man, now identified as BJP worker Shivam Sharma, can be seen wearing the party's Himachal red cap and smiling towards the camera.
Sharma, who recently joined BJP Punjab and has been photographed with several party leaders, deleted his Facebook account since the emergence of the video.
These images were shared by many users on social media.
In the video, the Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel are captured moving around the car as it turns around.
Now, this comes at a time when various people, including some of the news channels, aired similar visuals to claim that the protesters had come close to the car.
For instance, in a bulletin aired on India Today on 5 January, the news channel marked these visuals as "protesters block PM Route".
While it is true that the convoy was blocked and other videos show protesters blocking the road, there is no evidence to suggest that the ones who came close to the convoy were the protesters.
Here are the facts.
What We Know
On Wednesday, about 25 km ahead of Hussainiwala, and just before Ferozepur city the PM's cavalcade had been left stranded for around 20 minutes on a flyover.
Several visuals show that the convoy was stuck whilst ongoing protests.
However, no visuals show or suggest that the protesters came close to the convoy.
On one hand, even as claims and counter-claims of farmers protesting in direct vicinity of the PM's cavalcade have emerged since the incident, no proof of identification of the group of people blocking the road has come to the fore.
On the other hand, a video posted on social media on Friday shows people sloganeering 'BJP Zindabad' and holding BJP flags, flocking dangerously close to the PM's motorcade.
However, even with the identity of Shivam Sharma coming to light, we can't confirm whether all the persons in the group were or weren't BJP workers, and in the absence of clear proof, it can neither be concluded that they were protesters.
The SKM, meanwhile, has stressed that the protesting farmers "did not even make any effort to go towards the Prime Minister's convoy".
Calling the incident a "major security lapse", the Ministry of Home Affairs had said that the Punjab government was informed well in advance about the schedule and they were supposed to deploy additional security.
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