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Lax security in Parliament premises under scrutiny

By Sahim Salim
October 19, 2010 15:25 IST
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Senior officials are worried over cases of security breaches that have been reported in the high-security Parliament zone in the last few days. The repeated incidents have prompted a joint secretary level officer to send out a strict letter to all the concerned officials.

The letter, which was written by Joint Secretary (Parliament Security) PR Meena, categorically mentions that the repeated incidents of security breaches "reflect the casual approach of the erring personnel."

According to the letter, which was sent out early last week, three incidents of security breaches were reported in the Parliament complex in 11 days.

Detailing the breaches, the letter states that on September 24, a visitor successfully smuggled a camera into the public gallery of the Lok Sabha. The visitor managed to take the camera into the gallery despite multiple security checks.

On September 29, there were no Delhi police officials on vehicle checking duty at Talkotara Road. This was detected after senior officers conducted a surprise check in the area.

On October 5, two unauthorised visitors managed to enter the main reception office. 

Meena immediately drafted the stern letter and forwarded it to all officers responsible for Parliament security.  "Strict disciplinary action has been initiated against all defaulting security personnel," states the letter.

The breaches occurred despite the fact that Meena had earlier sent a note on September 21, advising security personnel to "ensure strict compliance of security regulations by staff on duty."

The letter also mentions that there are threat perceptions to the Parliament. 

"In view of the grave threat perception for Parliament House Estate against the backdrop of Commonwealth Games and the impending visit of United States President (Barrack Obama) to the Parliament House, it is once again reiterated in the interest of the institution we serve and in the professional interest of officers and staff that security duties are performed with greater efficiency and sincerity," the letter reads. 

US President Barack Obama will visit India between November 8 and November 10. He is expected to attend and address one session of the Parliament during his visit. 

Intelligence agencies had warned the government that militants are planning a Mumbai-style terror attack in the capital during the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010. The Indian army had also recovered two consignments of explosives hidden in apple boxes placed among passenger luggage on buses heading to Delhi from Kashmir.

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