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Statement made by Shri L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister on Tuesday, the 18th December, 2001 In Lok Sabha in Connection with the terrorist attack on Parliament House (Archived)

December 18, 2001

The ghastly attack on Parliament House on 13th December, 2001 has shocked the entire nation. The terrorist assault on the very bastion of our democracy was clearly aimed at wiping out the country’s top political leadership. It is a tribute to our security personnel that they rose to the occasion and succeeded in averting what could have been a national catastrophe. In so doing they made the supreme sacrifice for which the country would always remain indebted to them.

It is now evident that the terrorist assault on the Parliament House was executed jointly by Pak-based and supported terrorist outfits, namely, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. These two organizations are known to derive their support and patronage from Pak ISI. The investigation so far carried out by the police shows that all the five terrorists who formed the suicide squad were Pakistani nationals. All of them were killed on the spot and their Indian associates have since been nabbed and arrested.

The investigation at this stage indicates that the five Pakistani terrorists entered the Parliament House Complex at about 11.40 A.M. in an Ambassador Car bearing registration No.DL-3CJ-1527 and moved towards Building Gate No.12 when it encountered the carcade of Vice President of India which was parked at Gate No.11. One of the members of the Parliament House Watch and Ward Staff, Shri Jagdish Prasad Yadav, became suspicious about the identity of the car and immediately ran after it. The car was forced to turn backward and in the process it hit the Vice President’s car. When challenged by the security personnel present on the spot all the five terrorists jumped out of the car and started firing indiscriminately. The Delhi Police personnel attached with the Vice-President’s security as also the personnel of CRPF and ITBP on duty immediately took their positions and returned the fire. It was at this point that another member of Parliament House Watch and Ward Staff, Shri Matbar Singh, sustained bullet injuries. He rushed inside Gate No.11 and closed it. An alarm was raised and all the gates in the building were immediately closed. The terrorists ran towards Gate No.12 and then to Gate No.1 of the Parliament House Building. One terrorist was shot dead by the security forces at Gate No.1 and in the process the explosives wrapped around his body exploded. The remaining four terrorists turned back and reached Gate No.9 of the Building. Three of them were gunned down there. The fifth terrorist ran towards Gate No.5 where he also was gunned down.

During the exchange of fire, four Delhi Police personnel, namely, Shri Nanak Chand, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Shri Rampal, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Shri Om Prakash, Head Constable and Shri Ghanshyam, Head Constable attached with the Vice president’s security lost their lives on the spot. The other three persons who were also killed were Smt. Kamlesh Kumari, a Woman Constable of CRPF, Shri Jagdish Prasad Yadav, a Security Assistant of Watch and Ward Staff of the Parliament House, who had rushed after the terrorists’ car and a civilian employee of CPWD, Shri Desh Raj, 18 other persons were injured and they were immediately rushed to Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for medical treatment. These included Shri Matbar Singh, Security Assistant, Watch and Ward Staff of the Parliament House who later succumbed to his injuries. The scene of the crime was cordoned off and Investigation Teams including Forensic Experts and Bomb Detection Squads were pressed into service. A number of hand grenades were recovered from the site of the incident and defused. A large quantity of arms and ammunition including explosives was also recovered.

The break-through in the investigation of the case was achieved with the arrest of Syed Abdul Rehman Gilani, a Lecturer in a local College, whose interrogation led to the identification of two other accomplices, Afzal and Shaukat Hussain Guru. The wife of the latter disclosed that her husband and Afzal had in the afternoon of 13th December, 2001 left for Srinagar. This information was immediately conveyed to the J&K Police who apprehended both of them. A laptop computer and Rs.10 lakhs in cash were recovered from them. They were later brought to Delhi by a Special Team deputed for the purpose by Delhi Police.

Interrogation of the accused persons has revealed that Afzal was the main coordinator who was assigned this task by a Pakistani national, Gazi Baba of Jaish-e-Mohmmad. Afzal had earlier been trained in a camp run by Pak ISI at Muzaffarabad in Pak Occupied Kashmir. The hideouts for the five Pak terrorists were arranged by Shaukat Hussain Guru, two in Mukherjee Nagar and one in timarpur area in North Delhi. During the subsequent raids, the police recovered from two of these hideouts a lot of incriminating material including a large quantity of ammonium Nitrate and other ingredients used in preparing Improvised Explosive Devices; a map of Delhi; a sheet of paper carrying a map of Chankyapuri drawn in hand; and three police uniforms. In all, four persons have so far been arrested in connection with this case.

The incident once again establishes that terrorism in India is the handiwork of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits known to derive their support and sustenance from Pak ISI. The hijacking of IC-814 Flight to Kandhar, the terrorist intrusion into the Red Fort and attack on J&K Legislative Assembly complex at Srinagar on 1st October this year were master minded and executed by militant outfits at the behest of the ISI. Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohmmad in particular have been in the forefront in organizing terrorist violence in our country. The Pakistan High Commissioner in India was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs and issued a verbal demarche demanding that Islamabad take action against the two terrorist outfits involved in the attack on the Parliament House.

Last week’s attack on Parliament is undoubtedly the most audacious, and also the most alarming, act of terrorism in the nearly two-decades-long history of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in India. This time the terrorists and their mentors across the border had the temerity to try to wipe out the entire political leadership of India, as represented in our multi-party Parliament. Naturally, it is time for all of us in this august House, and all of us in the country, to ponder why the terrorists and their backers tried to raise the stakes so high, particularly at a time when Pakistan is claiming to be a part of the international coalition against terrorism.

The only answer that satisfactorily addresses this query is that Pakistan – itself a product of the indefensible Two-Nation Theory, itself a theocratic State with an extremely tenuous tradition of democracy – is unable to reconcile itself with the reality of a secular, democratic, self-confident and steadily progressing India, whose standing in the international community is getting inexorably higher with the passage of time.

The Prime Minister in his address to the nation on the 13th December, 2001 has declared that the fight against terrorism had reached a decisive phase. The supreme sacrifice made by the security personnel who lost their lives in this incident will not be allowed to go in vain. Those behind the attack on Parliament House should know that the Indian people are united and determined to stamp out terrorism from the country

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