The security personnel in Parliament have again been found slack. On November 30, when they were busy with a mock bomb alert as part of a security drill in the Parliament annexe, a real security breach happened.
A group of 14 people managed to enter the high-security zone of Parliament on passes issued for the previous day. In the heavily guarded complex, they went past eight security points. The breach was detected only at the last point — just before the group was about to enter the visitor’s gallery.
Senior security officials rushed to the spot on being informed about the security breach at a time when the winter session was under way. The group was immediately herded out of the main building.
A senior security official said the 14 people were from Kerala and had come to watch Parliament proceedings. They had been issued passes on the recommendation of a Member of Parliament.
Kanwaljeet Deol, joint secretary (Lok Sabha security), confirmed the incident but added that the multi-rung security system finally detected the mistake and stopped the group. "That is why we have security checks at different points,” said Deol.
But the incident was a reminder of the Parliament attack of December 13, 2001, when five militants entered the premises in a car that had labels of Parliament and the home ministry.
“This is as big a security breach as it can get. It was not one or two persons but a group of 14 people,” admitted a senior security official posted at Parliament. "The date for which the passes had been issued was clearly written on the passes but still no one paid attention to it.” He said such laxity could not be tolerated, especially when a Parliament session was under way and hundreds of MPs were present inside.