Probe UP House bomb scare fair and square

Many years ago terrorists burnt down the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly building in Srinagar.

The discovery of a highly potent category of explosives inside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly chamber beggars belief. Either the several rings of security that screen the access of individuals to the most sensitive areas of the legislature have failed to discharge their duty with efficiency and sincerity, or there may be room to suspect sabotage. In either case the scenario is scary.

Early reports indicate that if an explosion were triggered, not only the main Opposition party bloc but also the Speaker and the chief minister, besides other senior figures, may suffer extremely serious consequences. This is no less than an attempt to overwhelm our democracy.

Many years ago terrorists burnt down the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly building in Srinagar. Shocking as the incident was, it was possible to view it in the backdrop of Pakistan-inspired terrorism playing out in the Valley. The attack on Parliament was planned and executed by Pakistan-based outfits, and terrorists had tried to storm the Parliament House complex. There was no scope for sabotage.

While investigations will throw up leads, it does appear that in the UP case there has been a serious lapse on the part of the state police and the security machinery. There has been a lot of tomfoolery going on with the UP police apparatus since the arrival of the Yogi Adityanath government on the scene. Of all the things that a government can think of, the state invested all its energies in pointless pursuits, like “anti-Romeo” squads, in a futile bid to garner some cost-free, dramatic publicity.

The internal security situation was allowed to degenerate as communal flare-ups, often triggered by or even led by prominent individuals of the ruling party, including in one case a BJP MP, kept showing up on the radar with worrying frequency. The atmosphere in the state is already charged with a whole cast of characters having taken upon themselves — with the administration and the police system standing by as mute witness — to raise the temperature on the Ayodhya issue to prepare for the next Lok Sabha election.

Hooligans and dangerous elements have a field day so long as they can make a big enough noise that they are from the Hindutva crowd. Ordinary people across the state complain of looting and robbing.

Union home minister and the Prime Minister were elected from UP and yet there is no sense of urgency to accord the vital function of law and order its due place. It is not just UP but all states, and the Centre should revisit the security scene in the context of providing fool-proof security to legislatures and other important institutions, and not just to VVIPs. There must be no witch-hunts based on pre-conceived notions and the investigation must be impartial and thorough.

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