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Parliament Security Lapse: Who Issues Parliament Visitor Passes And How?

The two people who entered the Lok Sabha chamber on Wednesday and opened canisters that emitted yellow smoke were carrying authorisation passes by BJP MP Pratap Simha.

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The security breach at Parliament on Wednesday has prompted a temporary suspension of entry for visitors, ex-MPs, and Personal Assistants to MPs. The security breach occured during Zero Hour when two men, both carrying canisters emitting yellow smoke, jumped from the visitors' gallery and ran into the Lok Sabha chamber.

Seated in the visitors' gallery, the accused, namely Manoranjan D and Sagar Sharma, retrieved canisters from their shoes and leaped towards the desk where Members of Parliament were present during the session.

Around the same time, a man and a woman also sprayed coloured smoke from canisters while shouting the slogan “tanashahi nahi chalegi” outside the Parliament premises.

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This incident has raised concerns about the security infrastructure of the parliament, especially since it occurred on the same day as the 2001 terrorist attack on the Parliament. However, the two are not related. 

How are Parliament visitor passes issued?

The process of issuing visitor passes for Parliament is regulated by orders set by the Speaker, allowing the admission of outsiders to areas not exclusively reserved for members during House sittings. The same rules apply to both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

When applying for visitors' cards, Parliament members are required to provide a certificate stating, "The above-named visitor is my relative/personal friend/known to me personally, and I take full responsibility for him/her".

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According to regulations, members can request a visitor's card for someone personally known to them or, in specific cases, for individuals introduced to the member by someone they know personally.

For security reasons, all visitors must carry a Photo Identity Card.

Members are strongly advised to acknowledge their responsibility for any untoward incidents or undesirable occurrences in the galleries resulting from actions taken by cardholders issued upon their request.

Who is BJP MP Pratap Simha?

In this case, the two people who entered the Lok Sabha chamber on Wednesday and opened canisters that emitted yellow smoke were carrying authorisation passes by BJP MP Pratap Simha.

However, Simha’s office has defended him, reported PTI, saying MPs generally entertain such requests from members of their constituency.

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