Jagdeep Dhankhar vs Derek O’Brien In Rajya Sabha


Derek O’Brien is the Trinamool Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP (File).

New Delhi:

Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien has been suspended from the Rajya Sabha for the rest of this session for  “unruly behaviour”, as Parliament resumed amid tension over the major security breach in the Lok Sabha last afternoon.

Mr O’Brien had demanded a discussion on the incident, in which two men jumped from the visitors’ gallery into the Lok Sabha and burst yellow smoke canisters. An apoplectic Rajya Sabha Chair Jagdeep Dhankhar named the Bengal politician and directed he leave the House immediately. 

“Derek O’Brien is named to leave the House immediately… Derek O’Brien says he will defy the Chair… Derek O’Brien says he will not respect the rules. This is a serious misconduct. This is a shameful incident,” Mr Dhankhar said, ejecting the Trinamool leader for “disorderly conduct”.

Despite the warning, Mr O’Brien and other opposition MPs continued to protest, and demanded that Union Home Minister Amit Shah be present in the House to answer for yesterday’s incident.

The Rajya Sabha was then adjourned, but before that Mr Dhankhar re-assured MPs a high-level investigation had been opened into the security breach, and that a police case had been filed. 

Earlier today Prime Minister Narendra Modi met senior ministers to discuss the breach; the PM was not in Parliament yesterday as he was attending swearing-in ceremonies of the ruling BJP’s two new chief ministers – Mohan Yadav in Madhya Pradesh and Vishnu Deo Sai in Chhattisgarh.

At least six people were involved in the smoke scare inside and outside Parliament yesterday; two men popped smoke canisters in the Lok Sabha and a man and a woman did so outside. All four have been arrested, as have a husband and wife who sheltered them at their Gurgaon home.

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The four inside have been identified as Sagar Sharma, D Manoranjan, Neelam Devi, and Amol Shinde, while the Gurgaon man has been name as Vicky Sharma. A sixth man is on the run. 

The four who deployed smoke canisters have been charged under the stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, besides sections in the Indian Penal Code. The six currently in custody, including the wife of Vicky Sharma, are being interrogated by Delhi Police’s anti-terror cell.

READ | Objective Behind Parliament Security Breach? What Intruders Told Cops

During questioning, they told police the breach was meant to draw the government’s attention to various issues, such as the recent ethnic violence in Manipur and unemployment levels in India.

Sagar Sharma and Manoranjan were given visitors’ passes after a request from the BJP’s Mysuru MP, Prathap Simha, who told Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla he had done so after the former’s father approached him. The father told Mr Simha his son wanted to experience the new Parliament.

READ | Parliament Breach Case: BJP MP Explains Why His Office Issued Passes

The opposition has demanded that Mr Simha also be investigated. 

Meanwhile, Parliament has tightened security protocols, including temporarily banning visitors and restricting non-essential personnel, inlcuding media. Seven Lok Sabha staff have been suspended. 

Yesterday’s scare came on the 22nd anniversary of the terror strike on the old Parliament building, in which two Pakistan-based groups attacked and killed nine people, including eight security staff.


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