13 Dec 2023 Parliament attack 6946

India’s parliament was attacked by terrorist gunmen on December 13, 2001 killing more than a dozen people. The terror outfits reared by Pakistan were behind that attack.

Sikhs for Justice leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu had been issuing public threats that the Indian parliament would be attacked this year.

And exactly on the 22nd anniversary of that attack, a ‘benign’ smoke though successful attack has taken place, this time on the new parliament, the dream home of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Five people – Lalith Jha (the mastermind), Manoranjan D, Sagar Sharma, Neelam Kaur Azad and Amol Shinde have been arrested and sent to seven-day police custody by a Delhi court.

It is unclear if SFJ’s Pannu or any other terrorist outfit is behind this attack.

Of the four attackers – Sagar Sharma and Manoranjan D had gone into the parliament and jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery and set off smoke canisters. The other two – Neelam Kaur Azad and Anmol Shinde protested outside.

Their mastermind Lalit Jha made a video of the two protesting outside and getting arrested.

Video broadcast live on Sansad TV, the official channel for the parliament, showed a man jumping over tables and running toward the speaker’s chair while lawmakers scrambled in haste to subdue him.

Opposition MPs raised their concerns over the security breach.

“The issue is very serious,” said Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of India’s the Congress party.

“This is about how two people were able to come inside despite such elaborate security and cause a security breach.”

Another Congress lawmaker K.C. Venugopal said the incident was “extremely troubling.”

“I am glad there was no major injury or damage done to anyone,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“Parliament is among the most high-security buildings of our country. Such a major security lapse is unacceptable. We demand answers from the Home Ministry and there must be a thorough review of the security arrangements in the new Parliament building.”

Lalit Jha, surrendered at the Kartavya Path police station in Delhi, and was handed over to the Special Cell after arrest.

All of them are connected through a Facebook group called ‘Bhagat Singh Fan Club’ and hail from different parts of India. Manoranjan D is from Mysuru, Sagar Sharma is from Lucknow, Neelam Kaur Azad is from Haryana’s Jind, and Amol hails from Maharashtra’s Latur. Their mastermind Lalit Jha is from Bihar, although has lived in Kolkata for years.

The cases registered against them invoke Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 452 (trespassing), 153 (provocation with intent to cause a riot), 186 (obstructing public servants in the discharge of public functions), and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servants from duty) of the IPC, along with Sections 16 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The five main accused had spent the night before the incident at the residence of a person named Vikram alias Vicky Sharma in Sector 7, Gurugram. They had left the house at 8 am on Wednesday.

Vikram and his wife Rakhi—have been released after questioning.

The media also reported Lalit shared the video of the protesting Amol and Neelam outside Parliament with someone linked to an NGO (Samovadi Subash) in West Bengal.

Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had paid tribute to the people who lost their lives in the 2001 attack on Indian parliament on X (formerly Twitter):

“Today, we remember and pay heartfelt tributes to the brave security personnel martyred in the Parliament attack in 2001. Their courage and sacrifice in the face of danger will forever be etched in our nation’s memory,” he wrote on X.

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