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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

Security of Bengal Assembly ramped up in wake of smoke canister incident in Parliament

The new security system helped rein in a group of agitators and job aspirants who attempted to enter the Assembly on Monday afternoon

Snehamoy Chakraborty Calcutta Published 06.02.24, 09:28 AM
Bengal Assembly

Bengal Assembly File picture

Security in the Bengal Assembly has been beefed up for the Budget session that began on Monday in the wake of the smoke canister incident in Parliament on December 13 last year.

A source in the Bengal government said to prevent any unauthorised entry into the House premises, said that a robust and full-proof security system has been put in place with the addition of modern gadgets and a set of restrictions.

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The new security system helped rein in a group of agitators and job aspirants who attempted to enter the Assembly on Monday afternoon.

As soon as the group started approaching the main gate of the Assembly, around 50 police personnel from both sides surrounded them and all were rounded up even before they reached the last barricade of the Assembly's main gate.

The source added that the Bengal Assembly security upgrade was undertaken after the country was rocked by last year's security breach in Parliament when two persons jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the visitors' gallery with canisters and started to spray yellow smoke, resulting in panic among the MPs.

A senior Trinamul legislator said the decision to enhance Assembly security was taken when Speaker Biman Banerjee proposed a robust and foolproof security system after the security breach in Parliament in December.

"It is good that the government has taken multiple measures to ensure our security," the Trinamul MLA said.

A security official in the Assembly said that the security arrangement for the budget session was significantly more compared to the winter session.

"All cars will undergo scanning and the police will monitor everyone's activities inside the Assembly premises. A thorough bag check will be conducted to prevent the entry of anyone with any canisters or suspicious items. An AI-based car scanner has been installed and the new system will only allow previously registered cars inside the premises," he said.

A police officer, who explained the operation of the new AI-based car scanner, said all cars of MLAs and ministers have been registered in the system and it would help them detect if any unauthorised vehicle tried to breach security in the guise of a VIP car.

"The system is similar to what we observe at toll plazas. Each registered car will have a chip-based card installed on the windscreen. When the car stops in front of the gate, the scanner reads the chip-based card and the gate bar opens for registered vehicles only," he said.

This apart, two temporary police camps have been set up on the two sides of the main gate of the Assembly.

A police officer said that 200 cops — both armed and unarmed — have been deployed on the two sides of the road approaching the Assembly's main gate. Several barricades have been put up to stop unauthorized persons or groups before they reach the proximity to the entrance of the House.

"Those who will enter the House premises have to show their identity cards or required passes and it will be strictly followed from Tuesday," said a police officer.

An official of the watch and ward section of the Assembly said they had also installed a metal detector to scan bags carried by officials or visitors.

"We are not even allowing any deodorant bottles as we have been asked to stop any item that can spray something. No one can enter with items like can or canister," the official said.

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