Major security breach at Indian Parliament

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – In a major security breach coming on the anniversary of the 2001 Parliament attack, two men entered Lok Sabha Wednesday and opened canisters that emitted a yellow-coloured smoke.

They were seated in the visitors’ gallery and they took out canisters from their shoes. Television footage showed them jumping from desk to desk, and appeared to be headed towards the Well of the House. Members present inside the House told reporters later that they (the protesters) were chanting slogans such as ‘tana shahi nahi chalegi’ (dictatorship won’t be accepted). They have been detained.

Two more protesters, a man named Amol, from Latur (Maharashtra), and a woman named Neelam, from Hisaar (Haryana), were held from near Transport Bhavan, which is in close proximity to the Parliament complex. The identity of the two who entered Lok Sabha is yet to be disclosed by security agencies.

BJP MP Rajendra Agarwal, who was presiding over the House proceedings said that he saw one person falling from the visitors’ gallery, and simultaneously, another man was jumping on the desks. “One of them took something out of his shoes that was emitting smoke. The security personnel caught them, and it remains to seen who they are, what was their objective and what organisation are they associated with,” he added.

Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury: “Two young men jumped from the gallery and something was hurled by them from which gas was emitting. They were caught by MPs, (and) they were brought out by security personnel. The House was adjourned till 2 pm. This is certainly a security breach because today we observed the death anniversary of people who sacrificed their lives in 2001.”

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram said that the canisters were emitting yellow smoke, and raised concerns that it could have been “poisonous”. “Suddenly two young men around 20 years old jumped into the House from the visitor’s gallery and had canisters in their hand. These canisters were emitting yellow smoke. One of them was attempting to run towards the Speaker’s chair. They were shouting some slogans. The smoke could have been poisonous. This is a serious breach of security especially on December 13, the day when Parliament was attacked in 2001.” (Indian Express)

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