5/1 conspiracy to humiliate Modi: who is the mastermind?



                          Prime Minister Modi stuck up on flyover and policemen sipping tea with Khalistani protesters

                                                  Who is the mastermind of 5/1 conspiracy to humiliate Modi

What happened in Punjab on January 5, 2022 (hereafter called 5/1 conspiracy), is unprecedented in the history of federal system. There are several instances of the state governments ruled by opposition parties not giving due respect to Prime Minister Modi but what Punjab government did is the worst example of insulting country’s Prime Minister and putting his life at risk. If the state governments behave like that, the federal structure created by the Constitution will collapse.

For five hours, from 10:25 AM (time of arrival at Bhisiana air base of Air Force in Bathinda) to 3:20 PM (time of return to Delhi), movement of Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, the Union of States, was at the mercy of the government of the State of Punjab. During this period there were 15-20 minutes of high tension when, on his way to Hussainwala, he was forced to wait on a very risky part of Hussainwala flyover because a few hundred Khalistani protesters had blocked the road ahead. Anything could have happened to him.

The incident triggered a major political row.   

In an official statement can Ministry of Home Affairs said, “… taking cognizance of this serious security lapse, the Ministry has sought a detailed report from the State government. The state government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action.”

BJP President J. P. Nadda accused Punjab police of conniving with protesters.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath said that “PM Modi’s security breach … was a pre-planned sponsored conspiracy. Punjab government didn’t follow the protocol. Drone or any attack might have happened there, but they ignored all this. Congress should apologize to the country.”

Media described it as a major lapse.  Quite a few non-BJP and non-Congress political leaders also attacked the State government over the law and order issue.

Addressing a press conference on Jan 13, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said “All evidence makes it clear that Congress high command and Punjab CM conspired to kill Prime Minister Modi” through ‘security breach’  

While setting up a committee to investigate into whatever happened on January 5, Supreme Court also observed that it was ”taking PM’s security breach very seriously.”

As expected, Congress leaders denied any security lapse and even made fun of PM. While Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi denied any lapse or mistake, State Congress  Chief Navjot Singh Siddhu accused PM of “doing drama” to hide his embarrassment because very few persons had reached the site where he was to address a political rally.

Before coming to any conclusion, let me summarise the sequence of events (as reported in media from time to time)

  1. PM’s official visit was scheduled well in advance and State government had adequate time to make arrangements for his security as per the Blue Book on Security. On January 3, Special Protection Group (SPG) had sent a 31-page letter to Punjab police regarding the necessary security arrangements. The letter shared PM’s detailed itinerary – visit to Qila Helipad, Martyr’s memorial, Ferozepur rally ground – with Punjab police for security arrangements needed and traffic control. This was a normal exercise always carried out before PM’s visit to any State/UT. According to the Blue Book, “The State/UT shall make all the protective arrangements required for the security and safety of the Prime Minister,  while the SPG shall provide proximate protection to the PM.”  The contingency rehearsal for the road journey from Bhisiana air base to Ferozepur was also carried out on January 4.
  1. PM’s plane landed at the airbase at 10:25 AM. In utter violation of the rules of protocol, Chief Minister, Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) were not present to receive him. Later, CM said that he  could not be present because he had come into contact with coronavirus-positive persons though the same day he addressed a press conference, and the next day onwards was found freely mixing with people. (I have not seen any explanation of the absence of Chief Secretary and DGP.)  
  1. From the airbase, PM was scheduled to go by helicopter to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussaiiwala. Due to inclement weather, it was decided that as per the contingency plan, he would go by road, a distance of about 99 kms, the. He proceeded by road after confirmation of necessary security arrangements by DGP.
  1. Punjab police was aware of the risk involved in road journey. On January 3, London-based Khalistani terrorist organization ‘Sikhs for Justice’ (SFJ) had released a video inciting farmers to block PM’s cavalcade and had even announced reward of $0.1 million (one lakh dollars) to anyone who successfully hit PM with a shoe during his visit. Police was also aware of the plan of BKU (Krantikari) to block the VVIP traffic on crucial roads and prevent BJP workers and supporters from reaching the venue of PM’s rally.
  1. In violation of the protocol, CM, Chief Secretary and DGP did not join PM during his road journey though official cars of the latter two formed part of the cavalcade.
  1. In an investigation report, India Today (January 12) has pointed out that in a message sent to the SSP at 12.32 PM, Ferozepur DSP, Sukhdev Singh stated that, “At 11.45 AM, protesters assembled and started moving on the same route on which Modi was coming.” At 12:45 PM, DSP informed SSP that 200-225 protesters were blocking the road.
  1. According to the same report, SHO Birbal Singh of Kulgarhi Police claims that the protesters arrived at the location all of a sudden; they were not actually farmers but radicals posing as farmers; government had not given any order to police to disperse the crowd “by lathis, tear gas shells or bullets.” A local shopkeeper also confirmed that “All the protesters were outsiders and not from the area.” A local Sarpanch told India Today that initially the locals were not involved in the protest; “Announcement was made from a Gurudwara to join the protesters. Ten minutes before the convoy reached the bridge, two youth came running and informed us that farmers protesting on the road were asking us to join.”
  1. In the sting operation, DSP Sukhdev Singh was heard saying that the entire protest was organised by Khalistani supporters, not by farmers. Police made no attempt to remove Khalistani supporters.
  1. Some media persons shot photo of some policemen sipping tea with protesters. (Policemen had no order to disperse the protesters; they had no orders not to be friendly with protesters either.)
  1. According to SPG protocol, markets on PM’s route are to be shut. However, according to the same report of India Today, shopkeepers were not ordered to shut their shops.
  1. Unaware of these developments, PM’s cavalcade was proceeding towards the destination because DGP had given clearance. SPG and DGP had telephonic conversations 12 times but SPG was kept in dark about protesters blocking the road. When PM’s convoy reached a flyover at 12:52, road was found blocked by some protestors. After waiting for about 20 minutes for green signal, at 1:10 PM, PM decided to return. Thus, SPG came to know of the protesters’ action more than one hour after they had started moving towards PM’s cavalcade.
  2. Note that while SPG was unaware of protesters coming to block the road, protesters knew that PM was travelling by road, not by helicopter.
  1. Punjab police deployed to protect PM of the country did nothing to stop 200-225 protesters but prevented those who wanted to see and hear him from reaching the rally site. (Later Congress leaders attacked PM that he decided to return because he did not want to face the embarrassment of addressing empty chairs.)
  1. On the return journey, private vehicles were seen coming from the opposite side, one more deliberate violation of security rules.
  1. After reaching the Bhisiana airbase at around 3:20 PM, an anguished PM told officers, ‘अपने मुख्य मंत्री से थैंक यू कहना कि मैं जिंदा लौट पाया’ (‘convey thanks to your Chief Minister that I reached here alive.’) (Normally, Modi does not react to personal insults.)
  1. Later, at a press conference, CM Channi denied any lapse or mistake: “There was no security lapse, no situation of any attack or security threat to Prime Minister. There was a sudden change in PM’s travel plan.” This was a lie. Alternative routes are always kept ready and PM went by road after security clearance.
  1. On January 7, an inspector of Punjab police registered an FIR against 150 unidentified persons. This action was nothing but a procedural formality. FIR has been registered under Section 283 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that prescribes fine up to ₹ 200 on any person (who) …..causes danger, obstruction or injury to any person in any public way or public line of navigation”. In the FIR, there is no mention of blocking of PM’ movement.
  1. Taking a U-turn on January 13, during PM Modi’s video interaction with Chief Ministers over Covid-19, Punjab CM Channi expressed regret to him over security breach during visit to the state. To express his wish for a long life to PM, he recited a verse “Tum salamat raho qayamat tak, aur khuda kare qayamat na ho.” (Was it due to investigation ordered by Supreme Court? Anyway, he admitted that there was “breach of security”.)

Now very serious questions, not one or two or three but four.

  • The first question is, was it just a case of “lapse” or “breach of security” or something more than that, what I call 5/1 conspiracy ?

The word “lapse” evolved in the sixteenth century from the Latin “lapsus”, meaning “a slipping and falling, falling into error.” In other words, it means a mistake resulting from inattention or oversight.

The word “breach” was influenced by old French word “breche” which means “breach, opening, gap.” In modern English the word is used for “violation of a law, duty, or promise, or contract.”

If we consider only a few episodes –no action to stop protesters from blocking PM’s movement forcing him to return after waiting for 15-20 minute on flyover, no order to shopkeepers to shut, allowing private vehicles to use the road when PM was returning to airbase – the charge of “lapse” or “breach of security” may appear valid. However, when we look at the complete sequence of events – from the absence of CM, Chief Secretary and DGP at the airbase to receive PM to his return to the airbase, as described earlier – lapse” or “breach of security” does not explain whatever happened. Whatever happened appears to be result of execution of, as  UP CM Yogi Adityanath put it, a “pre-planned conspiracy” to humiliate PM Modi throughout his presence in Punjab.  Congress government gave a loud and clear message to BJP and Modi that it cares two hoots for a PM who belongs to BJP. All characters, from CM to police constables, played  their role as scripted.

I would not like to agree with the extreme view that the objective of 5/1 conspiracy was to cause physical harm to Modi. If those who hatched 5/1 conspiracy are living in India, they are not so dumb as to create a situation in which the state government would have been dismissed and many heads rolled. PM’s movement was at the mercy of Punjab government but the Union Cabinet loyal to its leader and the armed and paramilitary forces loyal to the Constitution and the democratically elected government were not at the mercy of the state government. I think, the purpose 5/1 conspiracy was only to humiliate him though there was danger of Khalistani or Pakistani terrorists trying to physically harm Modi.

  • The next question is, who is the mastermind of 5/1conspiracy?

It is quite natural that the first suspect be Channi government but I do not agree with Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia that the plan to embarrass PM and BJP was hatched in CM’s office. Majithia he has not furnished any proof. CM Channi is not a strong person capable of taking a decision as big as to humiliate country’s PM on his own. He must have been ordered to do so.

Then who could have ordered Channi to humiliate PM?

Undoubtedly, only the troika – three-member Congress high command – has this power. We all know that Channi owes his office to and holds office “during the pleasure” of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.  Their hatred for Modi is also well known. For a long time, Congress has been suspected to be involved in several unsolved conspiracies. The two siblings are immature and have no sense of propriety. They think that, by virtue of their birth in the dynasty, only they have a right to rule over India but a commoner, Narendra Modi, has become the biggest obstacle.

If Channi receives an order or even a hint from his bosses, he has no option but to carry out the order.

  • Why was the Punjab so lenient to SFJ?

SFJ went beyond its appeal of January 3 to farmers to block PM’s movement; it brought its own men to do the job and subsequently took credit for blocking the movement. Police made no attempt to disperse Kahlistani protesters. BKU (Krantikari) played only a minor role, if any.

We all know that SFJ has strong influence on a section of Sikhs. The organisation brought its men to stop PM from reaching Hussainiwala. Policemen were aware of this. Instead of stopping protesters from going ahead to stop PM on the road, they (policemen) were seen sipping tea with them. Policeman’s explanation was that they had no order to use any force. That means, the decision to allow free hand to the Khalistanis was taken at a higher level.

Do Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra consider Modi and BJP more dangerous than Khalistanis? Does the party realise dangerous consequences of such a policy? Has their party not learnt from its own mistakes?

Once (with the backing of Indira Gandhi) Sanjay Gandhi and Zail Singh had made Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale a “saint” and hoped to defeat Akali Dal with his blessing but the “saint” became a bloody monster, a bhasmasur who wanted to finish his own creator. Indira Gandhi had to order “Operation Blue Star” to destroy him. She succeeded but Bhindranwale’s men took revenge and assassinated her.

If  Rahul and Priyanka are taking help of Khalistanis to unseat or even humiliate Modi, they are digging their own grave but they are not wise enough to realise that.

  • Hence the fourth question, will we ever know for definite who was responsible for 5/1 conspiracy I doubt that.

Of course, the terms of reference of the five-member committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge appointed by Supreme Court are very wide:

 “What were the causes for the security breach for the incident on January 5, 2022? Who are responsible for such a breach and to what extent? What should be the remedial measures or safeguards necessary for the security of the Prime Minister or other Protectees? and any suggestions or recommendations for improving the safety and security of other constitutional functionaries.”

My doubts are not baseless. The committee may interrogate Punjab CM who would put the entire blame on police. He would never admit that he had hatched any conspiracy or had received any order from above. Even if committee is convinced that DGP would not mislead SPG and local police would not remain mute spectator without order from above, it (the committee) will get the facts about the 5/1 conspiracy only if  DGP (later removed from the post)  turns against his  own government. However, the committee will never find out whether Chief Minister gave such orders on his own (that is highly unlikely) or on order from above.

Future historians will never be able to write name or names of conspirator(s)  with proof. 5/1 conspiracy will also remain as “mysterious”  (leaving people to guess) as the death of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkand, the death of former President Zail Singh (with Z+ security) and a budding politician Rajesh Pilot in road accidents and the death of Madhavrao Scindia, a prominent Congress leader whom many considered a future Prime Minister, in a plane crash.

The ultimate victim of 5/1 conspiracy is the federal structure of democratic India.

Devendra Narain

January 20, 2022