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Kerala police goof up as soon as PM lands
November 01, 2006 02:15 IST
In a security lapse soon after the arrival of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Thiruvananthapuram, a pilot vehicle deviated from the prescribed route when the motorcade was on its way from the airport to the Raj Bhavan on Tuesday night.
The motorcade had to turn back when one of the pilot vehicles deviated and moved a few feet away from the route after it reached Asan Square in the city.
On realising the mistake, the convoy immediately stopped and turned back to proceed along the proper route. The incident caused confusion for a while.
According to sources, the driver of the vehicle, said to be hired for the job by police, has been taken into custody.
Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthandnan has sought details from the director-general of police as the lapse came as an embarrassment to the state police responsible for the security of the prime minister's movements in the city.
The convoy turned back after a police constable on duty on the prime minister's route stopped the pilot car on seeing it going the wrong way.
The errant pilot car driver Shiju is in fact a private taxi driver, the sources said.
As a result of the security mess-up, the prime minister reached the Raj Bhawan about 15 minutes behind schedule, the sources said.
Defence Minister A K Antony, Union Overseas Affairs Minister Vylar Ravi and Achhuthananandan were part of the prime minister's convoy.
The state government has asked Additional Director General of Police Jacob Punnose to inquire into the lapse and submit a report within 48 hours.
The incident came as a major embarassment to the Kerala police as at least three rounds of traffic drills had been conducted ahead of the prime minister's visit.The government had instructed the police to make meticulous security arrangements in the wake of the e-mail to President A P J Abdul Kalam and the prime minister last week.