Parliament security breach and suspension of MPs not linked: Speaker

In a letter to members, the Lok Sabha Speaker says the punitive action was for creating ruckus in House and not for raising the issue; high-powered committee to review Parliament security and devise preventive steps

Updated - December 17, 2023 09:19 am IST

Published - December 16, 2023 06:48 pm IST - New Delhi

 Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla conducts proceedings on December 14, 2023.

 Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla conducts proceedings on December 14, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

Informing members of the Lok Sabha that a “high-powered committee” will review various aspects of security in the Parliament complex to formulate an action plan to prevent a repeat of the December 13 incident, Speaker Om Birla on December 16 asserted that there was no link between the suspension of Opposition members and the security breach.

In a two-page letter to all members, he said the MPs were suspended not for raising the issue in the House, but for “carrying placards and creating ruckus”. He added that the decision had caused him immense pain.

Also Read |A day after security breach, many changes take effect in Parliament

Mr. Birla said the report of the high-level inquiry committee, set up by the Union Home Ministry under CRPF Director-General Anish Dayal Singh into the breach, will “soon” be shared with the House.

“In addition, I have also constituted a high-powered committee which will review various aspects of security in the Parliament complex and formulate a concrete action plan to ensure that such incidents do not recur,” Mr. Birla said.

The December 13 security breach – when two men had jumped inside the Lok Sabha chamber from the visitors’ gallery with canisters of yellow smoke – has become the latest flashpoint between the government and the Opposition parties belonging to the Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc.

Also Read | Unemployment and inflation are main reasons behind Parliament security breach, says Rahul Gandhi

Both Houses of Parliament remained paralysed amid protests from the Opposition parties, who insisted on a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah. On Thursday, as many 13 Lok Sabha members and one Rajya Sabha member were suspended for disrupting the proceedings.

In his letter, Mr. Birla said: “It is indeed unfortunate that some honourable members and political parties are linking the decision of the House to suspend some honourable members from the service of the House to the incident, which occurred on 13th December, 2023. This is unwarranted. There is no association between the suspension of honourable members and the incident which took place on 13th December, 2023.”

The Speaker said that at the time of inauguration of the new Parliament building, members had resolved not to bring placards inside the House and “create ruckus in the Well of the House”.

“...we were unanimous that we would establish highest standards of parliamentary decorum and dignity. It was in this context that the House was compelled to take strict action of suspending Hon’ble Members,” Mr. Birla said.

The Speaker said that security of the Parliament House complex comes under the jurisdiction of the supreme law-making body and it is “the Parliament’s responsibility to formulate detailed action plan on security measures...”

Past episodes

Mr Birla said that the nation had witnessed such security scare in the past as well, including incidents such as visitors carrying pistols, shouting slogans, jumping from the visitors’ gallery and throwing leaflets.

Without naming anyone, he also referred to the February 2014 incident when an MP from Andhra Pradesh had carried a pepper spray inside the House to oppose the creation of Telangana.

“At the time of all such incidents, the House has displayed exemplary solidarity and expressed its collective resolve against such incidents,” the Speaker noted.

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