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But how did the pepper spray find its way in?

| | Updated on: Feb 13, 2014
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Shocking behaviour in the House raises security questions

The security measures in and around Parliament House complex are devised to weed out “terrorist outfits/individuals posing threat” to the members of either of the Houses.

But what happens when MPs themselves pose a security threat?

Till late Thursday evening, the security establishment in Parliament had not come to terms with such extraordinary events.

From the Joint Secretary (Security), Lok Sabha, who is in overall charge of the security setup in Parliament, to the Joint Committee on Security in Parliament Complex, everyone was stunned by the MPs’ conduct.

“It is also not easy to explain how the MPs were able to carry objects such as pepper sprays and knives inside the high-security complex,” said a security official.

This is particularly so since a thorough check was reportedly done — through cameras attached to closed-circuit TV systems and metal detectors — in anticipation of the Telangana Bill-associated chaos. The fact that MPs are not subjected to body searches like all other visitors to Parliament is believed to have aided the erring members in ferrying these objects into the House.

Also, the full body scanners employed at entry points to the House were either non-functional or the security staff did not sound an alert despite the detection.

Officials scurried around after the chaos had somewhat subsided, refusing to speak about the semi-riot that was caused by L Rajagopal, a suspended Congress MP, firing a pepper spray in the Lok Sabha.

‘Mike, not knife’

TDP MP Venugopal Reddy asserted that he did not brandish a knife as some members had earlier alleged. “I did not have a knife. I pulled out a mike,” he said.

While the officials refused comment, Karia Munda, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Security in Parliament Complex, said: “I have no idea how this happened. I am in Ranchi. I am not even in Delhi.” Parliament House is protected by five security rings manned by a specially trained paramilitary unit armed with the latest gadgets and weaponry.

The team, drawn from the best trained personnel of the CRPF, is known as the Parliament Duty Group. Besides, there are personnel of the Delhi Police, Provincial Armed Constabulary, intelligence agencies and Parliament’s own security staff to man security.

Innermost layer

However, the innermost layer of these five security rings is manned by the double-layered Watch-and-Ward (W&W) Organisation. The main responsibility of W&W is to provide preventive and protective security to the Parliament House Estate as well as to the members.

The approach revolves around Access Control based on proper identification, authentication and authorisation of human and material resources entering the Parliament Estate with the help of modern security gadgets.

Since the threat perception has been increasing over the years, new security procedures have been inducted into the system.

Published on March 12, 2018

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