Template:Infobox terrorist attack The 2001 Indian Parliament attack was a high-profile attack by Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists against the building housing the Parliament of India in New Delhi. The attack led to the death of a dozen people, including one civilian and to increased tensions between India and Pakistan and the 2001-2002 India-Pakistan standoff.
The attack[edit | edit source]
On 13 December 2001, five gunmen infiltrated the Parliament House in a car with Home Ministry and Parliament labels. While both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha had been adjourned 40 minutes prior to the incident, many Members of Parliament (MPs) and government officials such as Home Minister LK Advani and Minister of State for Defence Harin Pathak were believed to have still been in the building at the time of the attack. (Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Opposition Leader Sonia Gandhi had already left). The gunmen drove their vehicle into the car of the Indian Vice President Krishan Kant (who was in the building at the time), got out, and began firing their weapons. The Vice President's guards and security personnel shot back at the terrorists and then started closing the gates of the compound. The lady constable Kamlesh Kumari was first to spot the terrorist squad. One gunman, wearing a suicide vest, was shot dead; the vest exploded. The other four gunmen were also killed. Five policemen, a Parliament security guard, and a gardener were killed, and 18 others were injured. No minister or any MP was hurt. \\
Trial[edit | edit source]
Template:Campaignbox India terrorism The attack triggered extensive and effective investigations which revealed possible involvement of four accused namely Mohammad Afzal, Shaukat Hussain Guru and S.A.R. Gilani and Navjot Sandhu a.k.a. Afsan Guru. Some other proclaimed offenders said to be the leaders of the banned militant organization known as Jaish-i-Mohammed. After the conclusion of investigation, investigating agency filed the report under Section 173 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (India) against four accused persons on May 14, 2002. Charges were framed under various sections of Indian Penal Code, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 and the Explosive Substances Act by the designated sessions Court.
The designated Special Court was presided over by S.N. Dhingra and accused were tried on charges and the trial concluded within a record period of about six months. 80 witnesses were examined for the prosecution and 10 witnesses were examined on behalf of the accused S.A.R. Gilani. About 300 documents were exhibited. Afzal Guru, Shaukat Hussain Guru and S.A.R. Gilani were convicted for the offences under Sections 121, 121A, 122, Section 120B read with Sections 302 & 307 read with Section 120B IPC, sub-Sections (2), (3) & (5) of Section 3 and Section 4(b) of POTA and Sections 3 & 4 of Explosive Substances Act. The accused 1 & 2 were also convicted under Section 3(4) of POTA. Accused No.4 namely Navjot Sandhu a.k.a. Afsan Guru was acquitted of all the charges except the one under Section 123 IPC for which she was convicted and sentenced to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment for five years and to pay a fine. Death sentences were imposed on the other three accused for the offences under Section 302 read with Section 120B IPC and Section 3(2) of POTA. They were also sentenced to life imprisonment on as many as eight counts under the provisions of IPC, POTA and Explosive Substances Act in addition to varying amounts of fine. The amount of Rs.10 lakhs, which was recovered from the possession of two of the accused, namely, Mohammad Afzal and Shaukat Hussain, was forfeited to the State under Section 6 of the POTA.
Response[edit | edit source]
- Main article: 2001-2002 India-Pakistan standoff
Indian Government initially accused LeT and JeM to be involved in this attack. However, Lashkar-e-Taiba denied any involvement in the incident. In December 2002, four JeM members were caught by Indian authorities and put on trial. All four were found guilty of playing various roles in the incident, although the fourth, Afsan Guru/Navjot Sandhu, wife of Shaukat Hussain Guru (one of the accused) was found guilty of a minor charge of concealing knowledge of conspiracy. One of the accused, Mohammad Afzal Guru, was sentenced to the death penalty for the incident.
World leaders and leaders in India's immediate neighbourhood condemned the attack on the Parliament. On 14 December, the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) blamed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack. Home Minister LK Advani claimed, "[w]e have received some clues about yesterday's incident, which shows that a neighbouring country, and some terrorist organisations active there behind it", in an indirect reference to Pakistan and Pakistan-based terrorist groups. 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, that Pakistan apprehend the organisations' leaders and that Pakistan curb the financial assets and the groups 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 what was India's largest military mobilisation since the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War.
Following the attack, many suspects were arrested, and in December 2002 four Jaish-e-Mohammed members were convicted for roles in the attack. In 2003, India said its forces had killed the mastermind of the attack in Kashmir.
Mohammad Afzal, sentenced to death by Indian court and due to be hanged on 20 October, had his execution stayed. His family had camped in New Delhi to meet the President Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam to accept the mercy petition. Also the family of Kamlesh Kumari, a CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) Jawan who died in the attack has said that they would return the Ashok Chakra awarded to her, if the president accepts the petition, but it is unclear if it had been done so. On 13 December 2006, the families of the deceased returned the medals to the government. As of April 2007, the then President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, refused to interfere in the judicial process.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
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- Embassy of India – Washington DC (official website) United States of America. Indianembassy.org. Retrieved on 8 September 2011.
- "Terrorists attack Parliament; five intruders, six cops killed". 2006. . Rediff India. 13 December 2001
- "[Pakistan Primer Pt. 2] From Kashmir to the FATA: The ISI Loses Control," Global Bearings, October 28, 2011.
- 'The terrorists had the home ministry and special Parliament label'. 2006. . Rediff India. 13 December 2001
- "Terrorists attack Parliament; five intruders, six cops killed". 2006. . Rediff India. 13 December. 2001
- Press Release on the attack Archived July 6, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- State ( N . C . T . of Delhi ) vs . Navjot Sandhu @ Afsan Guru, Supreme Court of India, August 8, 2005.
- 4 convicted in attack. Hinduonnet.com (17 December 2002). Retrieved on 8 September 2011.
- "Parliament attack: Advani points towards neighbouring country". 2006. . Rediff India. 14 December 2001
- "Govt blames LeT for Parliament attack, asks Pak to restrain terrorist outfits". 2006. . Rediff India. 14 December 2001
- Mastermind killed. China Daily. Retrieved on 8 September 2011.
- Vinay, Kumar (30 April 2007). "Kalam: law will take its course in Afzal case". The Hindu (India). http://www.hinduonnet.com/2007/04/30/stories/2007043005720100.htm. Retrieved 3 March 2009.