Parliament Under Attack – Delhi police detained 4 people after chaos was unleashed on the floor of the Lok Sabha. The incident comes on a day that marked the 22nd anniversary of 2001 Parliament attack organized by Pakistan-based outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The Winter Session of the Lok Sabha was underway when 2 unidentified men charged at the House floor, shouting slogans with smoke bombs in hand. LS security personnel and few MPs were able to confront and apprehend the miscreants.
Delhi Police identified them as Sagar Sharma (son of Shankarlal Sharma) and 35-year-old Manoranjan D, a resident of Mysuru and an engineer by profession.
The incident occurred few hours after the whole Parliament, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar, had paid tributes to the martyrs of the Parliament attack on December 13, 2001.
Being the 22nd anniversary of the brazen Parliament attack of 2001 that claimed 9 lives, this incident proved to be an embarrassment for the security personnel of the Parliament.
The government swiftly responded to the situation by establishing a high-level inquiry committee to investigate the incident and identify the lapses. While such committees generally pin point shortcomings and recommend corrective actions, the critical question remains: How did the breach occur in the first place?
Despite previous incidents and recommendations from past inquiry commissions, a repetition raises concerns about the effectiveness of implemented measures. It is important to hold those accountable for the breach, necessitating consequences. An extensive reassessment of the security framework is crucial to prevent such occurrences in the future.
Addressing the media outside Parliament, the MPs described the scenes of chaos and panic inside Lok Sabha.
“Suddenly, two young men around 20 years old jumped into the House from the visitor’s gallery and had canisters in their hands. These canisters were emitting yellow smoke. One of them was attempting to run towards the Speaker’s chair. They were shouting some slogans. The smoke could have been poisonous,” Congress MP Karti Chidambaram told the media.
Samajwadi Party (SP) MP Dimple Yadav, present inside the House during the attack, said, “All those who come here – be it visitors or reporters – they don’t carry tags. So, I think the government should pay attention to this. I think this is a complete security lapse. Anything could have happened inside the Lok Sabha.”
“Both of them have been nabbed and the materials with them have also been seized. The two people outside the Parliament have also been arrested by Police…” Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said while addressing the House.
The attackers were carrying passes issued in the name of BJP Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Simha. Opposition leaders demanded the BJP MP’s expulsion over the security breach. Later in the day MP Pratap Simha spoke to the LS Speaker and informed him that he had issued the passes after the accused’s father had approached him. The alleged attacker Sharma’s father had told the BJP RS MP that his son wished to visit the new Parliament building.