Security Breach in Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s Parliament, witnessed a significant security breach leading to a series of legal actions.
- Following the breach, the Delhi Police invoked sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, an anti-terror law, against four individuals accused of criminal conspiracy, trespass, riot provocation, and obstructing public servants.
GS – 3 (Security, Terrorism in Hinterland & Border Areas)
Key Highlights of the Issue:
- The Delhi Police invoked anti-terror laws against four accused individuals involved in the Lok Sabha security breach, with a fifth accused scheduled to appear in court.
- The police asserted that the incident was a well-planned conspiracy, alleging a potential association with terrorist organizations. The accused posted a provocative pamphlet on social media, portraying the Prime Minister as ‘missing.’
- The Lok Sabha Secretariat suspended eight security personnel in response to the breach.
Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA):
- Enacted in 1967, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) is focused on preventing unlawful activities associations within India.
- It targets actions that aim to disrupt the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
- The central government holds absolute power under this act, allowing it to declare an activity as unlawful through an Official Gazette.
- UAPA imposes severe penalties, including death penalty and life imprisonment.
- Applicable to both Indian and foreign nationals, the act covers offenses committed abroad with equal jurisdiction.
- The investigating agency must file a charge sheet within 180 days, extendable with court notification.
- The 2004 amendment broadened the scope to include “terrorist acts,” resulting in the banning of 34 outfits.
- The recent 2019 amendment allows the designation of individuals as terrorists under specified grounds.
- The Act grants authority to the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for property seizure, and NIA officers of Inspector rank or above can investigate terrorism cases.
Causes of such Issues:
- Security Lapse: The security breach in the Lok Sabha highlighted a lapse in the existing security measures, allowing unauthorized individuals to engage in disruptive activities within the Parliament premises.
- Social Media Provocation: The use of social media to spread provocative content, such as the ‘missing’ poster of the Prime Minister, underscores the potential for online platforms to be misused for incitement and conspiracy.
- Alleged Terrorist Links: The police’s assertion of a well-planned conspiracy with potential terrorist links raises concerns about the infiltration of security institutions and the need for robust counter-terrorism measures.
- There is a critical need to reassess and enhance security protocols within the Parliament premises to prevent future breaches and unauthorized access.
- Increased surveillance and monitoring of social media platforms can help identify and prevent the spread of provocative content that may incite individuals to engage in unlawful activities.
- A thorough investigation into the alleged terrorist links and the individuals involved is crucial to uncover the extent of the conspiracy and prevent similar incidents in the future.
- Creating awareness among the public about the consequences of engaging in or supporting such activities is essential to discourage individuals from participating in security breaches or conspiracies.