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'The security response was very slow'

December 13, 2023 16:55 IST

'It could have been lethal and the consequences would have been very tragic.'

IMAGE: Dr S Senthilkumar, the DMK MP from Dharmapuri, shot this photograph of the incident. Photograph: @DrSenthil_MDRD/X

Karti Chidambaram, the Congress's Lok Sabha MP from Sivaganga, tells Prasanna D Zore/ what happened when the two intruders entered the Lok Sabha from the visitors' gallery and opened canisters that spewed yellow smoke in the most dangerous breach of security, exactly 22 years after the terrorist attack of December 13, 2001.

Who were these intruders?

I don't know who they are. That's what the investigation agencies to find out who they are.

Some Opposition MPs are saying their visitor passes were signed by the BJP MP from Kodagu, Prathap Simha.

You can't really blame the MP. Parliament is the Lok Sabha and all the public who wants to come visiting Parliament come to MPs for passes. After all, Parliament belongs to the people of India.

Really can't blame the MP for issuing or signing off the passes. But everybody's (every visitor's) ID is taken. They are checked before they enter the building. It's really the security agencies which must answer. No point blaming the MP for this.

One could see yellow smoke...

Yes, it was yellow coloured smoke. God knows what it was. It could have been lethal and the consequences would have been very tragic.

There were 100 members in the House.

What was the mood among the MPs after this intrusion happened?

This is the first time (such a thing has happened in Parliament and all the MPs) are very concerned about the quality of security.

Obviously the security systems and protocols are rather weak and not robust. And the security response is also very slow.

How long did this drama continue?

There's no drama. They jumped in and that's it. There's no drama. This is a real incident.

How long did this continue? And who overpowered them?

He jumped on the seats below the visitor's gallery which I think (is the place where) BJP members (sit). They (the BJP MPs) would have overpowered him. We all ran towards him.

But then by the time the security staff (also intervened). The other person was then apprehended by the security staff.

But the response of the security staff was rather slow in my opinion.

Were they chanting any slogans?

I don't know. Not in the language I understood.