Parl attacks proved terrorism biggest threat to democracy: Advani

Advani said that the attacks were prescient of what was to come in the decade ahead: Reuters

Ten years ago on this day, five gunmen infiltrated Parliament House in a car bearing Home Ministry and Parliament labels and began firing their weapons inside the compound. The Vice President's guards and security personnel shot back at the terrorists and then started closing the gates of the compound.

BJP leader LK Advani who was the Home Minister in 2001, said that he had been inside his office when he had heard the gunshots. Advani said he was going out to investigate the source of the noise, and had been told by a security personnel that the parliament was being attacked by terrorists. Advani also said that the attack which was the second major attack against a nation state (following the 11 September attacks on the US) proved that terrorism was the greatest threat to democracy.

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One gunman wearing a suicide vest who was later identified as Ghazi Baba, was shot dead by Narendra Dubey who was in the BSF at the time. Speaking about the attack ten years later, Dubey who received eight gunshot wounds in the altercation said security forces had been expecting a large scale attack because the Prime Minister, deputy Prime Minister, the entire cabinet and several Chief Ministers had been present in parliament that day.

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Although Parliament had been adjourned for the day 45 minutes before the attack took place, many MP's were still inside the building. In this video, a group of parliamentarians who were present when the incident occurred, talk about what they witnessed and their impressions of the significance of the attack:

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On the day following the attack, the ruling National Democratic Alliance blamed the Pakistan-based groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack. Home Minister LK Advani made an indirect reference to Pakistan, saying that "clues" following the attack showed that "a neighbouring country, and some terrorist organisations active there behind" the attack. The same day, in a demarche to Pakistani High Commissioner to India Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, India demanded that Pakistan stop the activities of LeT and JeM, apprehend the organisations' leaders and curb the groups financial assets and access to these assets.

In response to the Indian government's statements, Pakistani forces were put on high alert the same day. On 20 December, India mobilised and deployed its troops to Kashmir and Punjab in its largest military mobilisation since the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War. (Read more)

Updated Date: Dec 13, 2011 10:37 AM

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