Parliament security breach: Delhi court sends 4 accused to police custody; brain behind the incident is still on the run

Delhi Police had earlier booked the arrested people under the stringent UAPA in connection with the security breach.

BySouth First Desk

Published Dec 14, 2023 | 2:01 PMUpdatedDec 14, 2023 | 7:14 PM

Lok Sabha Parliament Security Breach

The government on Thursday, 14 December, asserted that a high-level inquiry has been initiated into the Lok Sabha security breach incident and asked the Opposition not to politicise the issue.

In a statement soon after the House assembled at 2 pm, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said: “We all agree that the unfortunate incident on Wednesday was a serious one concerning the safety and security of MPs.”

Joshi noted that Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla promptly held a meeting with floor leaders following the incident and listened to the suggestions for further strengthening Parliament security.

Meanwhile, the police have identified Lalit Jha, a resident of Kolkata and a teacher by profession, as the mastermind behind the security breach. Jha is on the run.

Late on Thursday, a Delhi court sent the four accused to the city police’s custody for seven days.

The accused — Manoranjan D, Sagar Sharma, Amol Shinde and Neelam Devi — were produced before Special Judge for NIA cases Hardeep Kaur by the city police, who sought their custodial interrogation for 15 days.

They have been charged under anti-terror law UAPA besides various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court, however, remanded them in police custody for 7 days.

‘Suggestions given by MPs implemented’

Some suggestions given by MPs have already been implemented, Pralhad Joshi said, and noted that the Speaker himself has stated that in the future further measures will be taken to strengthen Parliament security.

“This matter concerns all of us and we have to speak in one voice,” Joshi said.

On such a grave national issue, no politics is expected to be done by anyone, the minister asserted.

Joshi also listed past incidents when such breach of security has happened in Parliament, noting that such incidents as slogan shouting, throwing papers and jumping from the gallery have been happening from earlier times.

The minister informed the House that the Speaker had written a letter to the Home Secretary for a high-level inquiry and the probe had already begun.

Joshi also said that it has become the habit of some members to politicise all issues. “I request them not to politicise this issue,” he said.

Related: 15 MPs, including 13 from TN and Kerala, suspended for protesting

The inquiry

Soon after the security breach on Wednesday, Birla had ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday ordered a probe into the Parliament security breach incident following a request from the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

The inquiry committee, headed by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Anish Dayal Singh, along with members from other security agencies and experts, will find out the lapse in the security of Parliament and recommend action, an MHA spokesperson said.

The Delhi Police is conducting raids to nab the sixth man suspected to be a key part of the group that breached Parliament, an officer said on Thursday.

A resident of Kolkata, Lalit Jha is a teacher by profession and was the main conspirators of the security breach, police said.

Influenced by revolutionary Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Lalit and others were highly motivated to commit an act that could draw the country’s attention to them, they said.

Parliament security breach: Opposition members raise security concerns 

‘Did not find any terror group connections’

The security agencies so far have not found any connections with any terror group, the officer said.

The officials said that in addition to the UAPA, the case has been registered under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 452 (trespass), 153 (wantonly giving provocation, with intent to cause riot), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and UAPA sections 16 and 18 at the Parliament Street Police Station.

In a major security breach on the anniversary of the 2001 Parliament terror attack on Wednesday, two persons — Sagar Sharma and Manoranjan D — jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery during Zero Hour, released yellow gas from canisters and shouted slogans before being overpowered by some MPs.

Around the same time, two other accused — Amol Shinde and Neelam Devi — sprayed coloured gas from canisters while shouting “tanashahi nahi chalegi” outside Parliament premises.

Parliament security breach: 5th suspect nabbed, plan hatched few days ago

Got in touch through social media

According to the person, all six joined a Bhagat Singh fan page on Facebook after coming in touch with each other on social media.

Lalit, Sagar Sharma, and Maoranjan D had about a year ago met in Mysore where they made a plan to barge into the parliament. They later added Neelam and Amol to the plan.

Being a teacher, Lalit took the lead and instructed Manoranjan to do a recce of all entry points of the Parliament during the Monsoon Session.

“In July, Manoranjan came to Delhi and went inside the parliament on a visitor pass issued in the name of an MP. There, he got to know that the frisking of shoes does not happen,” the officer privy to the investigations said.

On Wednesday, Lalit came with the four others to the Parliament.

When they got passes for only two of them — Lalit decided to take the mobile phones of all four — Sagar, Manoranjan, Neelam and Amol with him.

Related: Karnataka, TN, Telangana CMs condemn Parliament security breach

Canisters brought by Amol

The colour canisters, which were sprayed inside and outside the Parliament complex, had been brought by Amol from Kalyan, Maharashtra.

Sagar and Manoranjan went inside, while Neelam and Amol stayed outside at the gate where they too opened the canisters, which emitted yellow and red smoke, the officer said.

Lalit later posted the video of the incident on his Instagram account and also shared it with Vishal Sharma alias Vickey — also part of the group, soon after Neelam and Amol were detained from outside the Parliament, the officer added.

Lalit’s last location was traced in Neemrana on the Rajasthan-Haryana border.

Police had earlier said that all five had gathered on 10 December and stayed at Vishal Sharma’s residence in Gurugram.

Neelam, Manoranjan, Amol, Sagar, and Vishal are in custody and have been questioned by the Delhi Police Special Cell and other security agencies.

Related: Karnataka man among 4 held for Parliament security breach

Security tightened

A day after the Parliament security breach, stringent measures were put in place in and around the building on Thursday with police and Parliament security staff thoroughly vetting the credentials of those entering the complex.

Security personnel deployed outside Transport Bhavan, just metres away from the Parliament complex, did not allow anyone to go beyond barricades until they had checked their identity cards.

Meanwhile, eight security personnel have been suspended for the security breach in Parliament, sources said on Thursday.

Those suspended belong to various security agencies who were on deputation for Parliament security.

Sources identified them as Rampal, Arvind, Vir Das, Ganesh, Anil, Pradeep, Vimitt and Narendra.

“Though they are on deputation for Parliament security, their cadre controlling authority is the organisation they represent and not the Lok Sabha Secretariat,” a functionary said.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was not allowed to enter the new building from Makar Dwar. Sangma got down from his car and walked to Shardul Dwar to enter the building.

Drivers of members without passes were not allowed to enter the complex.

At the Parliament complex entry gate, reporters were asked to produce their credentials and were asked questions before being permitted to enter.

Makar Dwar of the new Parliament House has been made out of bounds for everyone with media shifted to the lawn near the old Parliament building’s gate number 12.

(With PTI inputs)