How can Lok Sabha security be strengthened after parliament attack in India?

It was a challenging day in New Delhi as there was a  major security breach inside the Lok Sabha on Wednesday afternoon 13th Dec 2023 at around 1:02 PM.

Significance of the day (13 December)

  • It was the same day, 22 years back (2001) when a parliament attack was carried out by two banned Pakistan-based terror groups – Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed – and five terrorists were killed. In the same attack nine people, including eight security staff, were killed.
  • Prime Minister gave “shradhanjali” to all the people who died during the 2001 parliament attack on 13 Dec 2023 before leaving for Chhattisgarh
  • The security breach also comes after Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun (a Citizen of the United States of America) threatened an attack on this day. Delhi Police were put on alert after he announced to “shake the very foundation of Parliament”.Though, no connection has yet been established between Wednesday’s incident and Pannun’s threat earlier this month , there is a likelihood that he is directly or indirectly involved in the incident.

Sequence of the events 

  • At 1.02 pm when the Zero hour was in progress in the Lok sabha (Khagen Murmu was giving the speech) chaos erupted when Two men, jumped from Visitor Gallery number 4 ( approx. height 20 feet) in Lok Sabha and released yellow smoke from canisters which was hidden inside their shoes, Some MP managed to overpower the intruders, beat them, and then handed them over to police 
  • The House was immediately adjourned as MPs rushed for safety.
  • During the same time, two other individuals – a man and a woman were detained outside parliament with colored smoke canisters that exploded and spewed red and yellow smoke. They shouted slogans against dictatorship and called for the protection of the constitution. The two protestors chanted “Tanashahi Nahi Chalegi” (dictatorship will not be allowed), “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Jai Bheem, Jai Bharat.”
  • Another man was found videographying the entire protest.
  • 4 Individual has been arrested.
  • The security breach case is being investigated by Delhi Police’s Special Cell which is its anti-terror unit. All four accused were also handed over to the Special Cell.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs ordered an inquiry into the incident at the request of the Lok Sabha Secretariat. The Enquiry Committee includes CRPF Director General (DG) Anish Dayal Singh and other members from other security agencies and experts.
  • The incident comes on a day when the nation marks 22 years since the 2001 Parliament attack.
  • Following the incident, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla addressed the House and said, “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…”The Speaker also said the smoke was of ordinary kind, as per the preliminary investigation.
  • As because the pass to Lok Sabha was issued by BJP MP Pratap Simha, Opposition leaders demanded the expulsion of Pratap Simha and said he should be held responsible for the incident.

Who were the Conspirators  

D Manoranjan. (Came inside LokSabha with Visitor pass) 

  • Resident of Mysore Karnataka 
  • Studied computer engineering 
  • Worked in 3 companies 
  • Currently Jobless

Sagar Sharma (Came inside LokSabha with Visitor pass)

  • Resident of Lucknow
  • Rickshaw driver 
  • Came to Delhi 2 days ago to protest 

Amol Shinde, (Protestor Outside Parliament)

  • A resident of Latur, Maharashtra
  • Preparing to join Armed forces / Police forces 
  • While he cleared the police physical, he could not pass the written exam.

Neelam Azad (Protestor Outside Parliament)

  • A resident of Jind, Haryana,
  • She has qualified BA, MA, B Ed, M Ed, CTET, M Phil, and NET.
  • She has raised the issue of unemployment several times
  • Participated in Farmers protest in Dec 2022
  • Participated in Wrestlers agitation
  • She has led many protests against BJP Govt 

Lalit Jha (Videographer)

  • A resident of Gurugram, Haryana
  • Was involved in videography of the incident 
  • As of now, he was identified as the Mastermind of the Incident
  • Every conspirator submitted their mobile to him
  • Absconding now
  • Seems to be associated with an NGO
  • Last location was traced at Nemrana – rajasthan

Vicky Sharma

  • A resident of Sector-7 Gurugram, Haryana
  • All stayed at his residence 
  • Currently Absconding and on the run

How the Conspiracy was planned   

Security breach in Parliament raises questions of a larger conspiracy. It was learned through primary investigation that  

  • Planning was going on for the last 3-4 months
  • They have known each other for 4 years
  • They were connected through social media
  • All of them met at Gurugram 1 day prior
  • Plan was made at Lalit Jha resident at gurugram
  • All of them were a part of a group called the Bhagat Singh Fan Club
  • Investigators suspect that they were being directed by someone both before and during the act.

Current Status after the Parliament Attack by the protestor

  • 2 Intruders at the parliament were arrested, 2 protestors and one Videographer were outside the parliament were detained, Manhunt was launched against the absconded Individual 
  • The forensic team has started with their investigation, Taken samples of the smoke powder and fingerprints 
  • Visitor pass has been temporarily stopped 
  • Interstate police and various Security agencies have started investigating the matter 
  • Home Ministry orders Enquiry Committee to probe security breach
  • Lok Sabha Speaker cancels entry passes to ex-MPs, assistants: Sources
  • Various high-level meeting are going on among various stakeholders to get to the root of the incident 
  • Lok Sabha secretariat suspends eight personnel for security lapses
  • The Director General of Central Reserve Police Force Anish Dayal will lead the team formed to investigate the security breach in Parliament on Wednesday, December 13. Reasearch and Wing Analysis (RAW) will also probe the incident.
  • The Delhi Police has formed a team of 200 officers which includes over 20 police officers, five deputy commissioner of police and seven assistant commissioner of police
  • Some politicians are taking an opportunity to initiate a blame game which was the last thing that can be expected from them.

Current Levels of security at the Parliament

The current levels of security at Parliament are quite robust, to ensure the protection of Members of Parliament, staff, and visitors. The Parliamentary Commission provides security services, including surveillance, access control, and personnel screening. Additional security measures include police presence, barriers, and secure transportation. These measures are in place to prevent unauthorized access and maintain public safety.

The Delhi Police paramilitary troops, various specialist security groups and a specialist organization known as  the Parliament Protection Service (PSS) are in charge of the protection of the parliament complex. While delhi police regulate access to the region surrounding the facility, paramilitary jawans patrol the compound’s outside border. The PSS and Delhi police are in command on the inside of the parliament

Sequence of security Check

PSS has few levels of security checks for any visitor,

  • The issuing of visitor passes involves mandatory background checking. The prospective visitors have to show letters recommending their entry signed by a Member of Parliament.
  • The security layers in place involve thorough frisking of visitors and checking of their belongings. Phones, bags, pens, water bottles and even coins are not allowed and they also have to show their Aadhaar card. They also have to cross at least three full-body scanners. Only after this process, the visitors are allotted passes.
  • The process starts with the entry into the Parliament area from the iron gates. The security arsenal includes Door-frame Metal Detectors, modern gadgets, and Radio Frequency Tags controlling vehicle access, according to the Sectional Manual of Office Procedure (SMOP) of the Parliament Security Service, issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.
  • After getting through from metal detectors, one enters into the next level of security check where the staff ensures that all visitors are permitted entry only on the basis of valid entry permits. The staff also ensures that all bag/briefcases of visitors are screened by the baggage scanners.

Future Security Strengthening measures

Former Director – Security (Mr P K Mishra) while giving interview to TV-9 informed that once of the main reason for todays incident was Lapse of training and Lapse of reactions

  • He informed the security staff at the gallery should have jumped as well. he focused on primarily 3 failures
  • Checking failure at reception
  • Physical frisking failure
  • Gallery frisking failure

Additional security measures that may be incorporated 

  • Glass encasing: The visitor’s gallery may be encased with glass to prevent people from jumping into the chamber.
  • Infact best is to stop visitor pass henceforth, Otherwise Stricter norms before the issue of the visitor pass
  • Centralized pass issuance system rather then de-centralizing to any MP’s
  • Body scan machines: More body scan machines may be installed in the security apparatus of the Parliament.
  • Checking of the shoes may be initiated now onwards for all.
  • Security personnel: Rather than only focusing on the increase of the security personnel, more focus is needed on the training and immediate response of the security personnel.
  • Stricter laws need to be implemented to punish the individuals involved in similar activities. 

However, investigations are on and we hope to get quicker results, But that’s not all. Wednesday’s parliament attack is an awakening call for implementing stringent checks. We need to be more vigilant, stricter laws need to be brought in which should create fear among the hooligans as we look forward in the year 2024.

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