18 years of attack on Parliament: President Kovind salutes courage of martyrs

On this day 18 years ago, a group of five terrorists belonging to Pakistan-based terror outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad attacked the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001.

18 years of attack on Parliament: President Kovind salutes courage of martyrs

NEW DELHI: On this day 18 years ago, a group of five terrorists belonging to Pakistan-based terror outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad attacked the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001.

At the time of the deadly attack, while the Lok Sabha was in session: the Houses were adjourned, however, several parliamentarians and staff were present inside the building. 

As many as nine people including six Delhi Police personnel, two Parliament Security Service personnel and a civilian were martyred when the terrorists opened indiscriminatory fire after entering through the gate. They were gunned down by security personnel outside the building, which has since become one of the most secured complexes in the country.

President Ram Nath Kovind, on Friday, took to microblogging site Twitter and paid tributes to the people who lost their lives on this day in the 2001 Parliament attack. "A grateful nation salutes the exemplary valour and courage of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives while defending the Parliament from terrorists on this day in 2001. We remain firm in our resolve to defeat and eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," the President tweeted. 

Several Parliament members also paid tribute to those who were killed. 

Taking to Twitter, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted, "I join a grateful nation in paying tribute to the bravehearts who sacrificed their lives to valiantly defend our parliament against a dastardly terror attack on this day in 2001. New India will forever remain indebted to them for their selflessness, fortitude & courage."

"A humble tribute to all the brave soldiers of Bharat Mata who were martyred in the terrorist attack on Parliament House on 13 December," Lok Sabha lawmaker Manoj Tiwari tweeted.

On 13 December 2001, five terrorists infiltrated the Parliament House in a car with Home Ministry and Parliament labels. More than 100 people, including major politicians, were believed to be inside the parliament building at the time. The gunmen used a fake identity sticker on the car they drove and thus breached the security deployed around the parliamentary complex. The terrorists carried AK47 rifles, grenade launchers, pistols and grenades.

Twelve years after the Parliament attack, Afzal Guru, one of the convicts, was hanged on February 9, 2013.