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Monday, May 27, 2024

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Monday, May 27, 2024

Still not Safe

By the Editor

The intrusion into Lok Sabha by two persons on Wednesday was a massive security breach coming hours after the House paid tributes to the martyrs of the attack on Parliament by terrorists on this day in 2001. As members of Parliament, therefore, they should have the right to raise such a grave issue of national security. Yet 13 Lok Sabha MPs and one Rajya Sabha MP were suspended on Thursday for the rest of the ongoing session for their alleged unruly conduct while raising the issue and demanding that the Union Home minister Amit Shah make a statement. Curiously, on the other hand, two-term BJP Lok Sabha MP from Karnataka Pratap Simha, whose office had issued the visitor passes to the intruders, has so far escaped censure of any kind. While the two intruders triggered a scare among the MPs in the august House, two other persons, including a woman, were protesting outside the Parliament shouting slogans like ‘tanashahi nahi chalegi’ (dictatorship will not be allowed); such slogans can stick to the ruling party if opposition members are dealt with such heavy hand even when they raise issues of national concern.

That the massive security breach at the new Parliament building, which is said to be a symbol of a ‘new India’, happened on the day when nine persons were killed in a terrorist attack on Parliament house in 2001 cannot be a mere coincidence; the perpetrators would have meticulously chosen the day to draw additional attention to themselves and their act. Wednesday’s incident may pale in significance when compared to that in 2001 as there was no harm caused except triggering a scare. However, this cannot be taken lightly and a thorough probe must be instituted to ascertain how the breach could happen in what is the most secured premises in the country.

It is a good augury that the Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla, assured the House soon after the incident that a comprehensive  security review of Parliament House would be carried out; Lok Sabha officials are on record saying that issuance of passes for the visitors’ gallery from where the two intruders had jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber, has been suspended. In the meantime the BJP must introspect on the ‘tanashahi nahi chalegi’ slogan; it is a trait of the ruling party for its leaders to avoid uncomfortable issues as has been evidenced in none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the Manipur issue until a no-confidence motion forced him to say a few words. The party must also not try to protect its MP whose office issued the passes and must ensure a thorough probe is done into this aspect.

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