The use of pepper spray inside the Lok Sabha by a member on Thursday has prised open the issue of security within Parliament House, the country’s most closely guarded building.
MPs and senior government officers are exempt from frisking or checking. Even their bags and cars are not thoroughly checked.
Security arrangements in Parliament House were beefed up in anticipation of trouble over the introduction of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, which has held up proceedings for several sessions now. Watch-and-ward staff and security personnel were on alert and extra fire extinguishers, ambulances and blankets were kept ready in case MPs took to extreme measures. But the surprise came in the form of a pepper spray that L. Rajagopal sneaked into the House.
The incident has prompted demands from some members for screening legislators.