The Marine Drive police on Friday arrested a 39-year-old man who allegedly breached the security of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi by appearing on dais where the latter was meeting people during the swearing-in ceremony of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his ministers at Wankhede Stadium on October 31.
Fadnavis has ordered an in-depth inquiry into the incident in which, Anil Mishra who claims to be a BJP worker, enjoyed access to the highly-protected VIPs like PM Modi, the CM, senior BJP leaders and CMs of other states at the swearing-in ceremony.
The serious security breach has come as a huge embarrassment for the administration, the police and the BJP which were instrumental in facilitating entry of the invitees. Sources said the Special Protection Group which is responsible for the PM’s security was not happy at all with the lackluster security arrangement.
Mishra, (39) a Malad resident, was arrested on the complaint of a BJP worker, Sanjay Bhediya.
“Mishra has been arrested on the charges of 170 (Personating a public servant) and 447 (criminal trespass) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and was produced before a court on Friday that remanded him in police custody up to November 11,” said Mumbai police spokesperson, deputy commissioner of police Dhananjay Kulkarni.
“Mishra had taken entry by possibly posing as Personal Assistant (PA) of a known person in the party (who may have a government office), hence apart from charging him for trespass we have also booked him for impersonation,” Kulkarni said.
The police are now investigating whether the accused forged a pass that gave him access to high-security zone. Two senior IPS officials, who were part of the security apparatus on October 31, told HT on Friday that the possibility of duplicate passes in circulation was very strong. “Our officers are probing the angle very seriously,” one of the officers said.
However, the other IPS official pointed out that Mishra didn’t have any pass on him that day. “I remember many ministers and officials displayed the passes, but when I saw the television footage we didn’t see any pass on Mishra,” said the officer, indicating that the matter could be even more serious.
Mishra’s lawyer, advocate Vinod Chate said his client was arrested under section 170, 447 of Indian Penal Code at the Marine Drive police station and remanded to police custody till November 11. He said Mishra had a VIP pass for gate number 2 (issued by BJP, pass number 3030) but he could not go on stage for the ceremony with that pass. He alleged that the complainant Sanjay Bhediya is an old friend of Mishra but off late they have had fights.
He said Mishra had registered a non-cognisable offence against Bhediya at Charkop police station. Chate said Mishra had no intention of committing any security breach and had gone on stage to congratulate the new CM. He further claimed that Mishra was a registered member of BJP and was a spokesperson from Bihar.
The police however remained tight-lipped about action taken against those who were responsible for the major security lapse.
A senior minister told HT on Friday that many unknown people were allowed entry whereas his family members had to sit on the ground because the chairs reserved for them were occupied by the persons, who no BJP legislator could identity.