New Delhi: After the security breach in the Lok Sabha that saw two youths jumping to the floor of the House from the visitors’ gallery and releasing yellow-coloured smoke from canisters, the Union home ministry has ordered a complete overhaul of Parliament’s security detail.
In a notification issued on Wednesday, the home ministry said the Central Industrial Security Force will now be in charge of the security of the new Parliament House. The CISF will take over the responsibility from the Delhi Police, which oversees the security of the highly sensitive building that VVIPs visit regularly.
The CISF is currently responsible for the security of 355 sites and buildings, including nuclear power plants, space installations, defence production units, airports, Delhi Metro, hydroelectric and thermal power plants, mines, oil fields, refineries, major seaports, heavy engineering and steel plants, fertilizer units, sensitive government buildings, heritage monuments, and some important private sector units.
In an internal memo to the CISF, Ashutosh Kumar, undersecretary in the home ministry, said: “In principle approval of the competent authority is conveyed for carrying out the survey of the Parliament premises and its building for regular deployment of CISF – both security wing and fire wing – on comprehensive pattern under government building security (GBS).”
Following this, the CISF inspector general for the National Capital Region sent a letter asking that a survey of the Parliament premises be conducted for the deployment of CISF personnel. The letter reads: “In pursuance of MHA’s in-principle approval, board for conducting joint survey of Parliament premises and its buildings for regular deployment of CISF security and fire wing on comprehensive pattern, as per PSU and fire norms, is hereby constituted with Ajay Kumar, DIG, CISF unit CGBS [central government building security], New Delhi as presiding officer.”
However, the Parliament Security Service, which operates under the Lok Sabha secretariat, will continue to be responsible for the security inside the Parliament building.
It may be mentioned that on December 13, two youths – Sagar Sharma from Lucknow and Manoranjan D from Mysuru – had jumped into the floor of the Lok Sabha from the visitors’ gallery and opened canisters releasing yellow smoke and shouted slogans. They were overpowered by some of the members of Parliament attending a House session that was in progress during that time.
The two men were then arrested. Later, it was known that they had carried those smoke canisters by hiding them in their socks. After the incident, eight security personnel were suspended by the Lok Sabha secretariat for the security lapse.
On the same day in 2001, five heavily armed Pakistan-backed terrorists stormed Parliament, but they couldn’t enter the building. A firefight ensued, in which six Delhi Police personnel, two Parliament Security Service personnel, and a gardener were killed. All five terrorists who took part in the attack were killed as well.