The Delhi Police Special Cell has questioned two more people in connection with the Parliament security breach case that took place on December 13, 2023. The two suspects are said to be part of a Facebook page called ‘Bhagat Singh Fan Club’, which was allegedly used to plan and execute the incident.
How the security breach happened
On December 13, 2023, the anniversary of the 2001 Parliament terror attack, two people jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery during Zero Hour. They were identified as Sagar Sharma and Manoranjan D, both residents of Karnataka. They claimed to be fans of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and shouted slogans in his name. They also threw pamphlets that demanded the repeal of the farm laws and the release of the activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case.
The security personnel quickly overpowered them and took them into custody. They were later handed over to the Delhi Police Special Cell, which registered a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to investigate the motive and the identity of the intruders.
The role of the Facebook page
During the interrogation, Sharma and D revealed that they were part of a Facebook page called ‘Bhagat Singh Fan Club’, which had more than 10,000 followers. They said that they had met other members of the page through online chats and video calls, and had planned the security breach as a symbolic protest against the government.
The Delhi Police Special Cell then traced the IP addresses of the Facebook page and found that it was operated from six different states: Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. The police also found that the page had posted several messages and videos related to the Parliament security breach, praising the act and calling for more such protests.
The police then launched a multi-state operation to nab the other members of the page, who were suspected to be involved in the conspiracy. So far, six people have been arrested, including Sharma and D. The others are Neelam Azad, Lalit Jha, Mahesh Kumawat and Ravi Kumar.
The latest developments
On Wednesday, December 21, 2023, the Delhi Police Special Cell questioned two more people in connection with the case. While one of them is said to be a close friend of D and belongs to Karnataka, the other hails from Uttar Pradesh. The police sources said that they were also part of the Facebook page and had participated in the online discussions and meetings.
The police also detained another person in Karnataka, who is suspected to be the admin of the Facebook page. The police said that he had created the page in 2019 and had been posting anti-government and pro-farmer content on it. He had also been in touch with Sharma and D and had encouraged them to carry out the security breach.
The police are also looking for more suspects who may have links with the Facebook page or the intruders. The police said that they are probing the possible involvement of any radical or extremist groups behind the incident. They are also examining the CCTV footage and the phone records of the suspects to gather more evidence.
The reaction of the authorities and the opposition
The Parliament security breach has raised serious questions about the security arrangements and the protocols at the premises. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has ordered a high-level enquiry into the incident, following a request from the Lok Sabha Secretariat. The MHA has also asked the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to conduct a survey of the Parliament complex and take over the security from the Delhi Police.
The incident has also sparked a political row, with the opposition parties accusing the government of failing to protect the Parliament and the democracy. The opposition MPs have demanded a statement from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister on the issue and have staged protests and walkouts in both the Houses. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Om Birla, has suspended 13 MPs for creating a ruckus in the House over the issue. He has also written a letter to all the MPs, asserting that there is no connection between the security breach and the suspension of the MPs.
The incident has also drawn criticism from the civil society and the media, who have expressed concern over the safety of the Parliament and the lawmakers. They have also questioned the use of the UAPA against the intruders, who claimed to be peaceful protesters. They have demanded a fair and transparent investigation into the incident and the accountability of the security agencies.