Thursday, December 14, 2023

‘Remove your shoes’, say security personnel at Parliament a day after security breach

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“Parliament Boosts Security Measures, Introduces Shoe Removal Protocol Following Breach”

New Delhi, December 14: In the wake of Wednesday’s shocking security breach in the Lok Sabha, the Parliament has implemented significant changes in its security protocols, with personnel at entrance gates now insisting on shoe removal, mirroring measures commonly seen at airports. This stringent adjustment follows the arrest of individuals for breaking into the Lok Sabha and deploying smoke canisters hidden in their shoes.

Previously, security personnel focused primarily on frisking those entering the Parliament premises, with shoe removal being an uncommon practice. The revamped security setup aims to enhance scrutiny, especially for shoes like long boots or those made of leather, similar to airport security checks.

This change is uniformly applied to all individuals granted access, including Parliament staff and media personnel with individual passes. Additionally, media personnel are now restricted to stand approximately 50-60 meters away from the ‘Makar Dwar’ of the New Parliament building, one of the primary entry gates for legislators.

The security overhaul comes in response to the arrest of Manoranjan D and Sagar Sharma, who breached the Lok Sabha, leaped from the visitors’ gallery, and released smoke canisters concealed in their shoes. Neelam Azad and Amol Shinde were also apprehended outside Parliament for a similar offense.

Following the breach, the Secretary General of Lok Sabha wrote to the Ministry of Home Affairs requesting a security review. Consequently, the Ministry ordered an inquiry, forming a committee led by Central Reserve Police Force Director General Anish Dayal Singh, comprising members from other security agencies and experts. The committee is tasked with investigating the breach, identifying lapses, and proposing further action.

In response to the incident, the Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla, held discussions with leaders of political parties, acknowledging the raised concerns related to security. Assuring a thorough review, Birla committed to addressing the identified gaps.

The security lapse occurred on the 22nd anniversary of the Parliament terror attack as the intruders entered the Lower House chamber from the visitor gallery during Zero Hour. After jumping from seat to seat, the individuals released yellow gas and shouted slogans before being subdued by legislators, leading to the adjournment of the House.

Simultaneously, outside the Parliament premises, two individuals, including a woman, sprayed colored gas and shouted slogans, adding to the complexity of the security situation. The incident prompted a reassessment of security measures to prevent future breaches and ensure the safety of the Parliament complex.

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