Speaker Om Birla orders high-level inquiry into security lapse in Lok Sabha

Birla informed the House that four persons have been arrested—two from inside the House, and two from outside Parliament.

ByPTI

Published Dec 13, 2023 | 3:48 PMUpdatedDec 13, 2023 | 5:18 PM

parliament security lapse

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday, 13 December, ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident of two persons jumping into the house chamber from the public gallery with smoke canisters.

Birla lauded the Lok Sabha members, security personnel, chamber staff, and marshals for rising to the occasion and capturing the perpetrators.

He said in 2001 too central paramilitary forces and other security had made collective efforts and prevented a terror attack on Parliament.

“The incident is a matter of concern and we are carrying out a high-level inquiry into this incident. The future course of action will be decided as per the findings of the probe,” Birla said when the House re-assembled at 4 pm.

Parliament security breach: Two persons jump into Lok Sabha from public gallery

Comprehensive review to be carried out

He said a comprehensive review will be carried out of the existing security system in Parliament.

“This has also been sought by members of parliament. What all improvement can be done in the security measure will be assessed after discussing it matter with members,” Birla said.

“The security will be further strengthened in consultations with the members, I will be discussing the matter with leaders of all political parties,” the Speaker said. He adjourned the proceedings for the day around 4 pm.

Earlier, when the Lok Sabha re-assembled at 2 pm, members sought permission to speak on the security lapse.

Birla said it would not be right to discuss the issue in the House.

The Speaker said the Lok Sabha is conducting a probe into the incident and the Delhi Police has also been instructed to carry out an investigation.

Parliament security breach: Opposition terms the incident serious

The incident

“The incident which happened during Zero Hour, Lok Sabha at its level is investigating it and Delhi Police has been given the necessary directions. We were concerned about the smoke… preliminary probe has revealed it was ordinary and aimed at creating sensationalism,” Birla said.

When some members mentioned a recent threat to attack Parliament by designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Birla said, “What you are referring to, it is not that matter as per the preliminary probe.”

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury questioned how the incident happened.

“This morning, we paid tributes to martyrs who protected Parliament during the attack of 2001. Coincidentally today this attack happened. How did this incident happen? Did we not take the measures we should have taken? MPs were fearless and grabbed him,” the Congress leader said.

Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay raised a concern over the high number of visitors to Parliament.

Related: Karnataka man among 4 held for Parliament security breach

‘Will take your suggestions’

“We should be more cautious. Hundreds of people gather at the entry gate. When we MPs enter it becomes very difficult. These people stay from 11 am to 6 pm, taking photographs, and selfies, and no one can guess who is an MP and who is not,” Bandyopadhyay said.

Speaker Birla said, “I understand your concerns. It is not right to discuss an issue like this in an open House. We will take your suggestions on what can be done.

“We will accept all suggestions and also implement them. It is a shared concern. What cautions have to be taken while giving passes…,” the Speaker said.

He also said that the House will continue to function even in adverse situations.

“We are here to serve the nation. It is our responsibility to hold the sitting however difficult the circumstances are. House functioned after that incident, today also the House will run,” the Speaker said.

The House then took up the Post Office Bill 2023 for discussion.

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