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  India   All India  14 Dec 2023  Major Security Breach in Lok Sabha, Two Open Smoke Canisters

Major Security Breach in Lok Sabha, Two Open Smoke Canisters

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 14, 2023, 1:34 am IST
Updated : Dec 14, 2023, 1:34 am IST

The intruders shouted slogans like "Tanashahi nahi chalegi" (dictatorship will not be allowed) and were headed towards the Speaker's chair

A visitor jumps in the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery during the Winter session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023. Two persons on Wednesday jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery, with Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury saying they were carrying tear gas canisters. (PTI Photo)
 A visitor jumps in the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery during the Winter session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023. Two persons on Wednesday jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery, with Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury saying they were carrying tear gas canisters. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: In a major security breach on the 23rd anniversary of the terror attack on Parliament, two persons on Wednesday jumped into the Lok Sabha from the public gallery during Zero Hour and opened gas canisters, which released thick yellow smoke in the House.

After breaching into the Lower House chamber, the intruders shouted slogans like "Tanashahi nahi chalegi" (dictatorship will not be allowed) and were headed towards the Speaker's chair. However, before they could reach the Speaker's chair, the MPs and the parliamentary staff overpowered them. Some of the videos on social media showed one of the intruders being thrashed by the MPs after they grabbed him.

In a coordinated attack, two persons, including a woman, sprayed coloured gas from canisters outside the Parliament premises while shouting slogans as well.

The two who had intruded into the Lok Sabha were issued passes on the authorisation of BJP's Mysuru Lok Sabha member Prathap Simha, as one of them belonged to his constituency. The police are yet to question Mr Simha, but his office defended him, saying MPs generally entertain such requests from members of their constituency.

The Congress demanded answers from the government and a statement from Union home minister Amit Shah in both Houses of Parliament on the "serious security breach" in the Lok Sabha, saying, "Does the incident not prove that necessary precautions were not taken?"

Parties of the Opposition INDIA bloc will hold a meeting on Thursday morning to discuss their future course of action on the security breach in Parliament. They are considering meeting President Droupadi Murmu over the issue.

"The Union home minister gives big speeches but can't maintain security in Parliament; he must resign," TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee said. Besides, the TMC MPs also demanded action against the BJP MPs who allegedly helped the accused get passes to enter Parliament.

Government sources, however, played down the chances of any serious action against Mr Simha, saying it is a routine practice for MPs to write for passes for people and they cannot be blamed for their conduct.

Following the security breach, the Delhi police arrested five people till late Wednesday evening, including one of their accomplices.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi, law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and several Opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, were among the over 100 lawmakers present in the House at the time of the incident.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Shah were not in the House as they were away in Bhopal for the swearing-in ceremony of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Mohan Yadav.

The police identified the two individuals who jumped in the Lok Sabha as Sagar Sharma from Lucknow and Manoranjan D. from Mysuru.

The two who were arrested from outside Parliament are Amol Shinde, 25, from Maharasthra's Latur and the woman identified as Neelam, 42, from Hisar.

While Neelam was being taken away by police personnel, she told the media that they did not belong to any organisation and were students.

"My name is Neelam. The Indian government is subjecting us to oppression; when we raise our voices for our rights, we are beaten and thrown into jail. We are subjected to undue force. We do not belong to any organisation. We are students and we are unemployed," she said, adding, "Our parents work as labourers, farmers and some are small shopkeepers. An attempt is being made to suppress our voices. Dictatorship will not work."

According to the police, in all six people were involved in the conspiracy. Lalit and Vikram are the other two other suspected accomplices involved in the conspiracy.

"The two suspects and the four accused stayed in a house in Gurugram and it seems that the incident was planned," said sources.

While Vikram was detained from Gurugram, the Delhi police teams have been sent to various locations to nab Lalit, sources said, adding that so far no links between the suspects and any banned groups in the country have been found. However, the police is exploring all angles.

According to eyewitnesses, at around 1 pm, two intruded into the Lok Sabha from the public gallery when BJP member Khagen Murmu was raising an issue during Zero Hour.

"One of the intruders was trying to reach the Speaker's chair but was grabbed by the MPs. As we grabbed him, he took out a canister from his shoe and sprayed yellow smoke," said one of the MPs, while another MP said that the accused were saying that we were here only to protest.

BJP member Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the chair, immediately adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm, as one part of the Lok Sabha chamber was filled with yellow-coloured smoke.

After the incident, security checks were conducted in the House and the gases were found to be non-hazardous. After security clearance, the Lok Sabha reassembled at 2 pm.

"The incident that happened today is an issue of concern for all of us and is serious as well... A high-level investigation is being done and accordingly, action will be taken. A comprehensive review will be done regarding the security in the House," said Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

During the all-party meeting, called by the Speaker to review security arrangements, the Opposition leaders raised concern over the "major security breach" in Parliament and demanded a probe into the matter as well as the implementation of strict measures in the new building like that in the old one.

Passes of former MPs and assistants of MPs have been cancelled. Sources said that in the coming days, security will be further tightened and glass casings could be installed in the visitor's gallery.

Tags: lok sabha, security breach, terror attacks
Location: India, Delhi