Cong seeks answers from govt, HM Shah’s statement on ‘serious security breach’ in Parliament

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday demanded answers from the government and a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah in both houses of Parliament on the “serious security breach” in Lok Sabha, saying does the incident “not prove that necessary precautions were not taken”.

Two persons jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery during Zero Hour and released yellow gas from canisters and shouted slogans before being overpowered by MPs. Around the same time, a man and a woman also sprayed coloured gas from canisters while shouting slogans ‘tanashahi nahi chalegi’ outside the Parliament premises.

The Congress, which was demanding that the home minister comes to Rajya Sabha and makes a statement, later walked out of the upper house in protest.

“I.N.D.I.A.parties walked out of the Rajya Sabha this afternoon on the issue of the extraordinary events in the Lok Sabha today and the refusal of the Home Minister to make a statement on the matter, especially after such a huge breach of security on the very same day Parliament was attacked 22 years ago,” AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X.

In an apparent swipe at the prime minister, the Congress put out a post showing the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP MP Pratap Simha saying, “Infiltration in Parliament on the pass of BJP MP Pratap Simha”.

“‘Na hi wahan koi ghus aaya hai, na hi wahan kisi ne kisi ko ghusaya hai’ (Neither has anyone entered there, now has anyone allowed anyone to enter there),” the caption on the picture said in an apparent reference to prime minister’s words during an all-party meet after Chinese intrusions on the border in Eastern Ladakh.

Two persons, involved in the Lok Sabha incident, have been identified as Sagar Sharma and Manoranjan. Sharma had come to the visitor’s gallery as a guest of Simha.

In a post on X, party president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the security breach that took place in Parliament is a very serious matter.

“We demand that the Home Minister should come to both the 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 canister there,” he said.

“Today, on Martyr’s Day, we paid tribute to the brave security personnel who lost their lives in the attack on Parliament 22 years ago. We hope that the government will take this very seriously. We demand a thorough investigation into the entire incident. We always want unity and integrity of the country,” he wrote.

AICC general secretary K C Venugopal also demanded a thorough review of the security arrangements in Parliament.

“The infiltration in the Lok Sabha is extremely troubling, especially on the anniversary of the 2001 Parliament attacks. I am glad there was no major injury or damage done to anyone.

“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,” he said in a post on X.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said this was a major security breach inside Parliament on the anniversary of the 2001 attack on Parliament.

“While we agree this attack is not the same as that one, does this not prove that necessary precautions were not taken,” he said.

In a post on X, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said, “Saw two young men unleash foul smelling yellow coloured gas from canisters inside Parliament gallery. MPs rushed to grab these men. One person was raising some slogans. This raises serious questions on another aspect of the new Parliament building- security.” Party MP Karti Chidambaram said the Zero Hour was going on in the House and he was awaiting his turn to speak. Suddenly, it appeared that one person had fallen down from the visitors gallery, he noted.

“Then we realised that it was a deliberate act of him jumping into the well. There was another person, both of them pulled out canisters which were emitting yellow smoke,” he said.

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, “Two people entered the house and filled the house with ‘smoke’. Today is the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attack on Parliament – and how is such a major lapse in Parliament security possible even today?” “After all, who were these people whose entry passes were made by BJP’s Mysore MP Pratap Simha,” she asked.