Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was trapped on a flyover for 20 minutes by protesters in Punjab in what is being reported as a serious security lapse.
They were demanding the resignation of a cabinet minister whose son has been accused over the deaths of farmers.
“This was a major lapse in the security of the PM,” said a statement from the federal home ministry.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said there had been no security lapse on the part of his government.
“We had asked them [Prime Minister’s office] to discontinue the visit due to bad weather and protests. We had no information of [the] sudden change in route. There was no security lapse during the PM’s visit,” said Channi.
Modi arrived at Bhatinda airport on Wednesday morning, and was supposed to fly to the National Martyrs’ Memorial and later to the rally in a helicopter.
But the trip was delayed by bad weather, and the convoy finally went by road when visibility did not improve. It got stuck some 30km from the memorial.
The prime minister was also scheduled to address a rally in the city of Ferozepur, ahead of state elections. But the home ministry said the prime minister’s convoy returned to the airport due to the security lapse.
“I express regret that PM Modi had to return during his visit to Ferozepur. We respect our prime minister,” said Channi.