Parliament security breach: Opposition terms the incident serious; Kharge demands statement from home minister

The incident reminded many MPs of the 2001 Parliament attack, in which eight security personnel and a gardener were killed.

BySouth First Desk

Published Dec 13, 2023 | 4:44 PMUpdatedDec 13, 2023 | 4:58 PM

Parliament

In a major security breach on the 22nd anniversary of the 2001 Parliament attack, two persons jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery and opened canisters that emitted a yellow-coloured smoke, triggering panic among the MPs, on Wednesday, 13 December.

The House was adjourned soon after the incident.

Meanwhile, a man and a woman were detained on Wednesday for protesting outside Parliament with cans, which also emitted a yellowish smoke, the police said.

Congress MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla, who caught hold of the two men who jumped down from the visitors’ gallery into the House, termed the incident concerning.

“…He had something in his hand which was emitting yellow-coloured smoke. I snatched it away and threw it outside…This is a major security breach..,” he told reporters outside Parliament.

Parliament security breach: 2 jump into Lok Sabha from public gallery

Kharge demands HM statement

Congress chief Malliakrjun Kharge termed the issue a serious one and demanded a statement from Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

“The security breach that took place in Parliament today is a very serious matter. We demand that the Home Minister should come to both Houses and give a statement on this. The question is, how did two people come inside such a big security department and release gas from a cannister there?” he asked.

“Today itself, on Martyr’s Day, we paid tribute to the brave security personnel who died while protecting Parliament 22 years ago. We hope that the government will take this very seriously and we demand a thorough investigation into the entire incident. We are always ready for the unity and integrity of the country,” he added.

Six Delhi Police personnel, two Parliament security officers, and a gardener were martyred when five armed terrorists attacked the Parliament House on 13 December, 2001. All five terrorists perpetrating the attack were also killed.

Though India blamed Pakistan-based terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed for the incident, they former denied their involvement.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said the security breach inside Parliament on the anniversary of the 2001 attack was an “affront to our democratic values”.

“Today’s breach in Parliament, on the solemn anniversary of 2001 attack, is an affront to our democratic values. The security of our temple of democracy cannot be compromised. An urgent investigation is vital to uncover who were the attackers, how did they get in, what were their motives Action must be swift and strict,” Kejriwal said in a post on X.

MP Danish Ali said that the attack had the potential to endanger the lives of the parliamentarians.

“In a chilling reminder to the Parliament attack, a man jumped from the visitors’ gallery into Lok Sabha MPs area. The breach could’ve put lives of MPs in danger. It has exposed chinks in the 56-inch armour. The man was a guest of @BJP4India MP,” he said on X.

‘Sacred symbol’

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha called the breach “an agonizing echo of that dark day”.

“India still remembers the attack on our Parliament in 2001. Today’s security breach is an agonizing echo of that dark day, reopening wounds on its anniversary,” he said in a post on X.

“This is not just a breach; it’s an outright attack on our democracy. An immediate and thorough investigation is needed to swiftly unmask the perpetrators,” he added.

He underlined the need to protect the country’s democratic institutions, calling Parliament “a sacred symbol” of the nation.

“Our Parliament stands as a sacred symbol of our nation, and if this temple of our democracy isn’t secure, then what can be? We must fiercely protect our democratic institutions,” he said in the post.

Meanwhile, RJD spokesperson Kanchana Yadav questioned the security of the new Parliament building.

“Do you remember how many ballads were read about the ‘need’ of a new Parliament building, ‘foresight’ about the future and state-of-the-art ‘security measures’?” she asked on X.

‘Sponsored by sitting MP’: Shashi Tharoor

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor termed the incident a serious security lapse, he said: “The fact that these people were apparently sponsored by a sitting MP of the ruling party…These people smuggled in smoke pistols which show there is a serious security lapse.”

“Not only they fired the pistols but also shouted some slogans inaudible to some of us. The new building does not seem to be configured very well when it comes to security by comparison with the arrangements in the old building,” he added.

He further demanded a detailed report on the security of the parliament from the Union home minister.

Condemning the security breach in the Lok Sabha, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters in Belagavi: “I got the information that they took pass from our parliamentarian. We should verify the identity of the individual while giving passes and give only to those we know very well.”

“As per the primary reports, there seems to be a security lapse in the parliament because the intruders sprayed gas inside the house. I think security personnel have not inspected properly. If they had examined properly, it is impossible to happen such incidents,” Siddaramaiah expressed shock over the incident.

‘Challenge to nation’s sovereignty’: Palaniswami

AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday said the security breach in Lok Sabha is a challenge to the nation’s sovereignty and demanded tough action against the intruders.

The former chief minister demanded that the Central government address the security lapse. Condemning the trespass by the two persons who carried gas canisters into the Parliament, Palaniswami said it was a matter of anguish; it has happened on the anniversary of the 2001 Parliament terror attack.

PMK founder leader S Ramadoss said it was a matter of deep concern that such incidents could be carried out easily inside the Parliament. The security breach on the anniversary of the 2001 attack has led to a lot of questions.

“When one could enter the Parliament with gas canisters, the primary question that arises is, why cannot pistols and bombs could be carried inside; which could endanger lives?”