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Demands for frisking of MPs fizzle out

PTI | Last Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 - 20:42

New Delhi: The demands for frisking of MPs while entering Parliament, triggered after the `pepper spray` attack by one of them last week, fizzled out on Monday with a Parliamentary Committee deciding against making such a recommendation.
The 10-member Committee on Security in Parliament Complex, which held an emergency meeting here, deliberated on the issue of frisking of MPs as part of efforts to stop entry of `harmful/life threatening` material into the complex in view of urgency induced by the February 13 incident in the Lok Sabha.

Sources said the members of the Committee were divided on the issues of frisking or even scanning of the MPs, for which demands came from some MPs after L Rajagopal, Congress member of the Lok Sabha, sprayed pepper in the House to prevent introduction of Telangana Bill.

While some said if MPs are frisked at airports they could be frisked in Parliament complex too, some others disagreed.

Some members said that instead of "obstructive" physical frisking, MPs and their belongings could be scanned using gadgets like X-Ray and millimeter wave technology.

However, a member objected to scanning saying its violates the privacy of the member as X-Ray machines show the "body contours" of the person being scanned. Moreover, frequent scanning can expose people to harmful radiation, he argued.

Finally, the Committee decided against making any recommendation on frisking.

There was a view that the term of the current Lok Sabha was anyway coming to an end shortly and any such matter should be decided by the next Lok Sabha.

The matter was referred to the Committee by Speaker Meira Kumar yesterday.

After the unprecedented incident of pepper spraying, several MPs cutting across party lines had advocated a screening system for the members at Parliament gate.

First Published: Monday, February 17, 2014 - 20:42

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