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December 13, 2001
1826 IST

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'Terrorists, Terrorists shouted everyone as bullets rained'

An eyewitness account by M A Swain, the Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha member from Baleswar in Orissa.

At 11.05 am the Lok Sabha had adjourned, and by around 11.40 am when I was leaving for Rail Bhavan (Rail Bhavan is next to Parliament House) through gate number 12 of the Parliament House, I heard small explosions.

I wondered how someone could explode a firecracker inside the Parliament complex, and as I was about to exit the gate, I heard more explosions.

Suddenly, I saw many people firing at each other. Some of those firing were in police uniforms and others were in civilian clothes.

In the ensuing confusion, with bullets raining all over the place, some people started shouting Attangwadi, Attangwadi (terrorists, terrorists) and started running towards gate number 12.

Within seconds, the terrorists started hurling grenades, and some watch and ward staff personnel, who were with me, said I should run away to safety.

Eventually, the watch and ward staff members escorted me to safety. The last sound of gunfire that I heard was around 12.30 pm.

This is a grave security lapse, shows that anyone with a Parliament parking sticker can enter the Parliament compound.

I think everyone, including the MPs, should be frisked at the first entry point itself.

As told to Shahid Abbas in New Delhi

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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