Pepper Attack: Parliamentary Committee to Discuss MPs' Frisking

Published: 16th February 2014 05:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2014 05:28 PM   |  A+A-


With the pepper spray attack in Lok Sabha evoking widespread outrage, an emergency meeting of the Committee on Security in Parliament complex tomorrow is expected to face a ticklish task as the issue of frisking of MPs could come up.

Speaker Meira Kumar has directed that the Committee, headed by Deputy Speaker Karia Munda hold the meeting to consider the events on Thursday last which saw expelled Congress member L Rajagopal using pepper spray to prevent introduction of the Telangana bill in the Lower House.

Rajagopal had attracted widespread condemnation.

"We really have a difficult task at hand. We have taken proper care after the terror strike in Parliament on December 13 a decade back so that such incidents do not recur. But what can one do when a family member himself tries to set the house on fire?" a member of the Committee on Security, who declined to be identified, remarked in anguish.

The Committee will examine all security-related matters, including means to prevent bringing of dangerous and life- threatening material into the Chamber of the House by MPs.

"The pros and cons about the various security measures that should be adopted will be considered in detail by the Committee," an official announcement had said earlier without elaborating on the mechanism to be adopted.

A Congress member from Telangana Ponnam Prabhakar has already complained to the Speaker for initiating criminal action against Rajagopal and TDP member Venugopal Reddy.

Prabhakar said he will file a complaint with Parliament Street police station.

The Speaker has dubbed the incident as a "blot" on India's parliamentary traditions and insisted members maintain the highest standards of decorum and uphold democratic values which have been assiduously nurtured all these six decades.

Reports said the Committee may also look into the demands of lowering privileges to the members.

After the 2001 terror attack, Parliament's security was scaled up several times. High-security gadgets and metal detectors were installed and the most capable personnel from the police and paramilitary forces deployed to guard the building.

Starting from stationery to eatables to furniture, everything is checked before being allowed in.

However, MPs are exempt from frisking.

There are special provisions that allow them to bypass the metal detectors and walk straight in.


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