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PM security lapse: Kerala asked to explain

NSG chief too asks for an explanation from DGP Raman Srivastava.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 15:27 IST

The Prime Minister's Office has asked for an explanation from the Kerala government on the security breach that occurred when the convoy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came to a screeching halt after the pilot car took a wrong route.

The prime minister arrived at Thiruvananthpuram on Tuesday night at 9.35 pm and the security lapse took place while he was being driven to Raj Bhavan, the state governor's official residence.

The National Security Guards (NSG) director has also reportedly asked for an explanation from Kerala's Director General of Police Raman Srivastava.

Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan has demanded a report within 48 hours on the goof-up. Additional Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose has been asked by Srivastava to submit the inquiry report.

Police officials accompanying the prime minister jumped out of their cars when the vehicles, including that of Manmohan Singh, came to an abrupt halt, seeing the pilot vehicle take a totally different route.

The prime minister's journey resumed five minutes later.

Police sources said a tourist taxi driver and not a policeman was driving the pilot vehicle. However, a circle inspector of the Kerala police was sitting beside him.

Police detained the driver of the car for interrogation as soon as the convoy reached Raj Bhavan where Manmohan Singh stayed overnight. The circle inspector, who was also in car, has been suspended.

According to reports, the driver in question had committed similar errors on earlier trial runs.

Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who had left for New Delhi via Chennai on Tuesday night, cut short his visit and returned to the state capital to investigate the matter.