India: Police file terrorism charges against 4 over parliament security breach

Eight security personnel have been suspended and an inquiry has been launched

By Reuters

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Security personnel check a vehicle near the Parliament House in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: PTI
Security personnel check a vehicle near the Parliament House in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: PTI

Published: Thu 14 Dec 2023, 12:00 PM

Indian police have filed terrorism charges against four people in connection with a security breach in parliament in which a man jumped into the chamber, shouted slogans and set off a smoke canister, a police officer said on Thursday.

The major security breach occurred on Wednesday, the 22nd anniversary of an attack on the parliament complex when more than a dozen people, including five gunmen, were killed.

On Thursday, opposition lawmakers shouted slogans demanding the interior minister address the incident.

"All precautions possible will be taken in future," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament, which was adjourned for a few hours on Thursday amid opposition uproar.

A parliament spokesperson said eight security personnel have been suspended in connection with the breach. India's interior ministry has launched an inquiry following a request from the parliament.

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All units that manage parliament security have been called to a meeting on Thursday, a security official said on condition of anonymity.

Members of parliament told local media the man who jumped into the lower house chamber and an associate who tried to follow him had chanted slogans, including "dictatorship won't be accepted". Families of some of the four suspects told media they had expressed annoyance at not being able to find jobs for a long time.

They were charged under sections of India's anti-terror UAPA law that involve punishment for terrorist acts and conspiracies, the police officer said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the matter.

Om Birla, speaker of the lower house, said he would discuss with members further enhancement of security.

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