As what can be seen as the never forgotten bruise that India received from her neighbouring country Pakistan 16-years back; today India observes another anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament.
An insignia of the Indian Democracy was brought down to shambles by the 5 heavily-armed terrorists, allegedly belonging to terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, stormed the Parliament complex leaving 12 people, and one civilian dead.
So what exactly happened on that dreadful day, and what went wrong, here’s all you need to know about the attack on the Indian democracy.
1. The terrorists entered the Parliament complex around 40 minutes after the Parliament was adjourned.
2. When the attack happened, then Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee and Leader of Opposition Sonia Gandhi had left, many MPs including Home Minister L K Advani and Minister of State for Defence Harin Pathak were still inside, including 100 other members of parliament in the building at the time.
3. The terrorists unexpectedly found their way against the motorcade of Vice-President’s.
4. Five policemen, a Parliament security guard, and a gardener were killed, and 22 other were injured.
5. All MPs and ministers escaped unhurt.
6. An hour-long gun battle was broadcast live on news channels.
7. The attack invited the call for an effective and extensive investigation which later revealed the possible involvement of four accused namely Afzal Guru, Shaukat Hussain, SAR Geelani and Navjot Sandhu.
8. Navjot Sandhi later-on was acquitted of all the charges except the one under Section 123 IPC (Concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) for which she was convicted and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years and to pay a fine.
9. Death sentences were imposed on the other three accused by the trial court.
10. While SAR Geelani was acquitted in the case, the Delhi High Court lessened to life imprisonment of Shaukat Hussain’s
11. Shaukat Hussain was released on the ground of his “Good conduct” nine months prior to his official date of release.
12. On 12th January 2007, the Supreme Court dismissed Afzal Guru’s pleas seeking review of his death sentence saying “there is no merit”.
13. On 10 December 2012, Sushil Kumar Shinde said that he will look at the file after the winter session of the Parliament is over.
14. President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Guru’s clemency plea on 3 February. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde cleared the file the next day clearing the way for Guru’s execution.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi, Former Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi also pay their tribute to the martyrs of 2001 Parliament attack.