Indian police arrest 4 intruders for breaching security in Parliament complex

The disruption came on the 22nd anniversary of an attack on the parliament's previous home in New Delhi

By AP/AFP

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Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Published: Wed 13 Dec 2023, 2:03 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Dec 2023, 6:03 PM

Police arrested two people who jumped from the visitors’ gallery into the lower house of India’s Parliament on Wednesday, the speaker said, in a major security breach on the anniversary of a deadly 2001 attack on the parliament's previous home in New Delhi.

Two accomplices were also arrested outside the chamber, Parliament Speaker Om Birla said.

Security guards overpowered the intruders as one of them climbed over the tables of the lawmakers’ seating area, TV images showed. They carried small canisters that emitted yellow smoke, said Senthil Kumar, a lawmaker who was present in the chamber.

One of the arrested said she was a student protesting rising unemployment. "People’s voice is not being heard by the government. There can't be a dictatorship in the country," she told reporters as she was taken away by the police.

Official footage from the session showed one man shouting slogans and vaulting over tables between stunned lawmakers before the smoke device was set off.

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The motives of the pair and how they managed to evade security checks were unclear, with police in New Delhi yet to release any details on the incident.

"They jumped over benches and removed their shoes before the security personnel caught them," lawmaker Arvind Sawant told reporters.

"Soon some gas was released. It was yellowish and there was some burning sensation," he added.

There was no indication that the smoke canister was dangerous to human health, and parliament resumed after a brief adjournment.

Lawmakers earlier in the day observed the anniversary of the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament by armed assailants who killed six police officers, two security guards, and a gardener. All the five attackers were killed by security forces.

India's new and upgraded parliament was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year.

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