rediff.com
rediff.com
News
      HOME | NEWS | THE ATTACK ON PARLIAMENT | REPORT
December 13, 2001
1540 IST

NEWSLINKS
US EDITION
SOUTH ASIA
COLUMNISTS
DIARY
SPECIALS
INTERVIEWS
CAPITAL BUZZ
REDIFF POLL
THE STATES
ELECTIONS
ARCHIVES
US ARCHIVES
SEARCH REDIFF



 Earn From
 Insurance


 Click Here to get
 minimum
 guaranteed 6%*
 returns on your
 premiums


  Call India
   Direct Service

  Save up to 60% over
    AT&T, MCI
  Rates 29.9/min
   Select Cities



   Prepaid Cards

  Mumbai 24/min
  Chennai 33/min
  Other Cities




 India Abroad
Weekly Newspaper

  In-depth news

  Community Focus

  16 Page Magazine
For 4 free issues
Click here!

 Search the Internet
         Tips
E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

Security is tight in Parliament, but loopholes remain says former MP

Priya Ganapati in Mumbai

Gurudas Kamat, former member of Parliament, explained to rediff.com the topography of the Parliament complex, the security measures and four security loopholes that could be exploited to attack Parliament:

* Parliament is a three-storied circular building with 12 gates. The gates lead to the ground floor where there are offices along the outer perimeter. These offices include the Lok Sabha secretariat, the office of the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Parliament notice office and offices of Cabinet ministers. Offices of all the nationally recognised parties are also on the ground floor.

* The inner perimeter of the ground floor has the outer lobby of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The outer lobbies lead onto a smaller inner lobby which opens into the well of both Houses.

* The first floor of Parliament has the dining room, the media office of different publications, the house allotment office and offices of ministers of state.

* The second floor hosts more offices of the Lok Sabha secretariat.

* The third floor has offices of various statutory committees of Parliament, offices of the chairman of these committees, booking offices of Indian Airlines and the railways.

* Entry to Gate 1 is from North Block and has the maximum number of people using it. Members of Parliament, their authorised guests, visitors and journalists use this gate to enter Parliament.

* Visitors to the Lok Sabha gallery generally use Gate 2.

* Either gate 5 or 6 is reserved exclusively for the prime minister's use. He enters and exits through one of these gates.

* Gate 7 or 8 is used by the home minister to enter Parliament.

* Gate 12 is used by Rajya Sabha members and sometimes by visitors as it leads directly to the outer lobby of the Rajya Sabha.

While all former MPs have access to every portion of Parliament, the building itself is well-guarded. No private vehicle can enter Parliament's precincts. Every vehicle that enters the premises must have a car pass issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat. The application for the car pass is attested by the MP -- sometimes accredited journalists -- and it is sent to the police for screening and verification.

Visitors called to meet ministers or want to see parliamentary proceedings have to apply for a pass 24 hours in advance. The pass can only be issued through a MP. The pass is sent to the MP's home along with other parliamentary papers; visitors or guests have to collect it from the MP's home.

All personnel carrying arms should be in uniform; only the minister's personal security guards are allowed inside Parliament.

Despite these measures, Kamath says, there still exists four security loopholes:

Loophole 1: Every car that enters Parliament must have a car pass that is issued after a police verification of the details submitted. The car pass has the registration number of the car written on it and is taped to the windshield of the car. While security officials check the pass, they do not actually tally the registration number on the pass with the numberplate of the car.

Result: Since the car pass is taped onto the MP's car, it can be stolen and stuck onto another car. Improper verification procedures can mean that a non-MP's car can be used with a stolen car pass to enter Parliament.

Loophole 2: At the car park, which is barely 100 yards from the Parliament gates, security officials check the car pass. But they do not check the occupants of the car. So, even as the car is parked and the occupant MP exits the car, other occupants of the car can continue to sit inside it.

Result: This can result in a scenario where the occupants of the car can drive it at high speed at the right moment and ram it into the passing cavalcade of an MP.

Loophole 3: The notice office (which among other things takes the questions that MPs want to ask in the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha) is the first after the entrance from the main gate. MPs who get an unauthorized visitor can plead with security officials to let the visitor go a few steps to the notice office that is immediately to the right and the left of the entrance.

Result: Once inside the notice office, an unauthorized visitor can slowly lose himself inside the Parliament building and move freely around the premises unless he is stopped by alert security personnel.

Loophole 4: Every MP's car has a red light on it and four to five security guards who carry automatic weapons on them. If a car has the car pass and if the guards are in uniform then they are not asked for personal identification.

Result: An empty car carrying only armed personnel, masquerading as security officers, can get access to the steps of Parliament.

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

Back to top

Tell us what you think of this report

ADVERTISEMENT      
NEWS | MONEY | SPORTS | MOVIES | CHAT | CRICKET | SEARCH
ASTROLOGY | CONTESTS | E-CARDS | NEWSLINKS | ROMANCE | WOMEN
SHOPPING | BOOKS | MUSIC | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL| MESSENGER | FEEDBACK