Frisking of MPs may come up at meet of Committee on Security

Committee on Security in Parliament complex was directed by Lok Sabha Speaker to convene emergency meeting on Monday to consider various options, that could also include frisking of MPs.

PTI| Updated: Feb 14, 2014, 22:58 PM IST

New Delhi: The Committee on Security in Parliament complex was on Friday directed by the Lok Sabha Speaker to convene an emergency meeting on Monday to consider various options, that could also include frisking of MPs, to prevent a repeat of pepper spray attack that sparked massive outrage.
Expelled Congress MP from Seemandhra L Rajagopal, who is under allround attack after he unleashed a can of pepper spray in Lok Sabha yesterday during the introduction of the Telangana Bill, meanwhile continued to maintain that he had done it in self defence. He, however regretted the act.

Ponnam Prabhakar, a Congress member from Telangana, has complained to Speaker Meira Kumar for initiating criminal action against Rajagopal and TDP member Venugopal Reddy. Prabhakar also told PTI that he will file a complaint with Parliament street police station.

The Speaker has directed that the Committee, headed by Deputy Speaker Karia Munda, discuss all security-related matters.

"In order to consider the events in the House on Thursday, the Speaker has directed that an emergency meeting of the Committee on Security in Parliament Complex should be called on Monday," a Lok Sabha Secretariat release said.

The Committee will be examining all security-related matters including the means to prevent bringing of dangerous and life-threatening material into the Chamber of the House by the Members of Parliament, it said.
"The pros and cons about the various security measures that should be adopted will be considered in detail by the Committee," the release said without elaborating on the mechanism to be adopted.

Rajagopal said he had used the pepper spray to defend one of his parliamentary colleagues, who was being "mandhandled" by political opponents.

"I am not saying what happened in Parliament yesterday was the right thing... Definitely, all of us regret, all of us feel ashamed of what happened," he said.

"I had to do something in self-defence. I did not want to use tactics like engaging in a fistfight... Hence I used the spray when I saw a colleague from a different party being manhandled," he added.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while strongly condemning the pandemonium in Lok Sabha said a solution to such a problem lay in self-regulation by people`s representatives and not frisking.

"Solution lies in self-regulation of behaviour by members and not intensification of frisking," the senior JD(U) leader and former Union Minister said.