| Security personnel frisk employees of the state legislature at the entrance of the building in Patna on Friday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Elaborate security arrangements at the entrance of the state legislature irked ruling as well as opposition members on the first day of the winter session.
For the first time, a doorframe metal detector was put at the entrance gate and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel were deployed.
One had to cross a three-layer security to enter the Assembly and the Council. The employees of the legislature were not allowed to take their vehicles inside the premises.
Bihar Military Police (BMP) personnel were also deputed with light machine guns at the entrance of the building.
The security and traffic management around the state legislature building was so tight that RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui missed the condolence meeting at 11am. He reached the Assembly when the condolence meeting was about to get over. Later, Siddiqui, along with few other RJD MLAs, met Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary and complained about the tight security.
Water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary supported them. However, Choudhary was present during the condolence meeting.
The Speaker discussed the issue with Patna district magistrate N. Saravana Kumar and city superintendent of police (SP) and traffic SP Jayant Kant.
Siddiqui said: “People should not be harassed in the name of security. The traffic around the state legislature was badly affected. It took me 45 minutes to reach the Assembly from my official residence. Normally, it takes me only 10 minutes. Moreover, we were not even informed in advance about the security checking.”
Former minister and BJP leader Sukhada Pandey was annoyed with the government when her personal assistant was stopped at the gate. “It seems that terrorists are going to attack this building.”
An officer with the Special Branch, who did not wish to be named, told The Telegraph: “These steps have been taken after the two terror and Naxalite attacks in the state. The government can’t compromise on the security front.”
Security arrangements in the Parliament look similar. It is necessary for the security staff to ascertain the identity of persons entering the Parliament.
On the other hand, the JD(U) MLA from Karakat Assembly seat, Rajeshwar Raj, supported the security arrangements and said the lawmakers should co-operate with the security staff.
“It is important to have high security and frisking at all levels because of Naxalite and terror attacks that are taking place in the state these days. People should co-operate rather than protesting,” he said.