15th anniversary of the Parliament attack
Today marks 15 years of the most audacious attack on the citadel of Indian democracy. A terrorist attack on the Parliament, masterminded by JeM terrorist, Maulana Masood Azhar, could have created havoc had terrorists not been immediately neutralized by Indian security forces. Today, leaders across all political parties pay tribute to the 9 martyrs who lost their lives in this horrific attack.
The attack on Indian Parliament
On 13 December 2001, five armed terrorists stormed the Parliament House Complex in New Delhi. The terrorists killed six security personnel and 3 civilians and as many as 12 security personnel and six civilians were hurt. All five terrorists were gunned down and MPs and lawmakers escaped unharmed. Investigations revealed that the attack was carried out by members of Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Forged documents gave access
Terrorists belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) drove in to the Parliament complex with the help of a forged home ministry pass for car entry. The five terrorists were armed with guns, grenades and RDX explosives.
Key details of the attack
Before the five terrorists were killed, a one-hour gun battle ensued between them and the Parliamentary security force. The terrorists arrived 40 minutes after the house had adjourned but there were still 100 MPs within the Parliament complex. While entering the complex, the terrorists' car collided with Vice-President's cavalcade; the collision messed with wires in their car and the RDX explosives couldn't be detonated.
Four suspects arrested by police
Delhi Police zeroed in on Afzal Guru, member of terrorist outfit JeM, and a resident of Jammu and Kashmir for harbouring terrorists who attacked the Parliament. S.A.R Geelani of Delhi University's Zakir Hussain College was also arrested. Two other suspects Afsan Guru and her husband Shaukat Hussain Guru were also arrested. Afsan Guru was later released after questioning.
What happened to the accused?
Afzal Guru was sentenced to death in 2006; the SC confirmed his punishment and he was hanged in February 2013. S.A.R Geelani, although sentenced to death in 2002 was acquitted in 2003 for lack of evidence. Shaukat Guru was also sentenced to death in 2002 but his death sentence was commuted to life-imprisonment; he was released from Tihar jail in December 2010.
Paying tribute to honour martyrs
PM Modi, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and senior leaders including Congress President Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, L K Advani, Home Minister Rajnath Singh attended the solemn ceremony held in Parliament today. Parliamentarians observed silence to honour the martyrs and a blood donation camp was also organized within the Parliament complex to remember their sacrifice. Family members of the martyrs were also in attendance.