Parliament Security Breach: Police Grill Lalit Jha’s Friend In Kolkata | Who Is ‘Mastermind’ 6th Accused

Lalit Mohan Jha, the sixth accused in the Parliament security breach incident, has been arrested by Delhi Police. Jha, accompanied by a man, reached the Kartavya Path Police station on Thursday evening, in the national capital where he was handed over to the Special Cell. He has been arrested after a thorough interrogation by cops.

A Kolkata resident, Jha is allegedly the mastermind of the major security breach in Lok Sabha on the anniversary of the 2001 Parliament terror attack on Wednesday when two men — Sagar Sharma and Manoranjan D — jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery during Zero Hour, released yellow smoke from canisters and shouted slogans before being overpowered by MPs.

Around the same time, two others–Amol and Neelam–raised slogans and released yellow smoke from canisters outside the Parliament premises, prompting police to round up the duo.

According to police, the Parliament security breach was well-coordinated, meticulously planned by Jha and carried out by six people including him, all of whom are now in police custody.

All About Lalit Mohan Jha

Jha belonged to the Burrabazar locality in Kolkata and used to teach local children there before he left the area two years ago. Several of his former neighbours were surprised to see his images on news channels, recalling him as a reserved individual who seldom engaged with the community.

Papun Shaw, a tea stall owner at Rabindra Sarani in the Burrabazar recalled that a few years back, Jha came to the area and was living alone. “He hardly used to interact with locals. At times he would have tea at my stall. He used to keep a very low profile. He suddenly left the area two years ago and never returned,” said Shaw.

Jha’s father was a watchman in the area and he had a brother, recalled another neighbour Rajesh Shukla.

Two years back, he left the area as they shifted to Baguiati in North 24 Parganas district, he said adding: “We couldn’t believe it to be Lalit as he was a nice guy.”

The Kolkata connection of Lalit Jha sparked a political debate in the state, with West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar accusing TMC MLA Tapas Roy of being in “convenience” with Jha.

Majumdar shared two photographs of Roy with Jha on X. He said, “Lalit Jha, the mastermind of the attack on our Temple of Democracy, had been in close association with TMC’s Tapas Roy for a long time… Isn’t this proof enough for an investigation into the connivance of the leader?”

The TMC MLA denied any knowledge of Jha and alleged that the BJP is now trying to shift the goalpost.

So far, the authenticity of the photographs has not been verified.

It was reported that after making the video of the security breach, Jha fled from the spot and reached Nagaur in Rajasthan by bus, where he met his two friends and spent the night in a hotel. However, he soon realised that the police were searching for him, and decided to come back to Delhi by bus, according to Delhi Police.

Jha’s friend Questioned

Police, meanwhile, questioned Jha’s friend, Nilakahya Aich, for hours in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district.

A team from Barrackpore Police Commissionerate visited Aich’s Halisahar residence on Thursday and asked him about his acquaintance with Jha during the days when the accused was working for an NGO.

Aich, who is an undergraduate student at a college in West Bengal, received a video of the security breach at Parliament from Jha soon after the incident.

“We have checked Aich’s mobile phone and noted down certain information, which may be vital in our investigation,” the police officer said.

Developments In Parliament Security Breach Case So Far

So far, the Delhi police have filed terrorism charges under Sections 16 and 18 of the stringent UAPA– related to terrorism and conspiracy for terrorism respectively– against four people in the case. As many as eight Delhi Police personnel have also been suspended.

As more details emerged on what Delhi police said was a “well-planned attack on Parliament” on Wednesday, police said six people were involved in the sensational incident that coincided with the 22nd anniversary of the terror attack on Parliament that left nine people dead.

Vishal Sharma alias Vickey, in whose house the accused stayed in Gurugram before reaching Parliament, is still under detention. The sources said the role of two more persons has also surfaced during investigations. The Special Cell of Delhi Police has detained them. They have been identified as Mahesh and Kailash.

The four arrested persons– Sagar Sharma (26), Manoranjan D (34), Amol Shinde (25) and Neelam Devi (37) — were charged under the non-bailable anti-terror law. A Delhi court sent the four arrested people to the city police’s custody for seven days for interrogation after they were produced before Special Judge for NIA cases Hardeep Kaur. The police had sought their custodial interrogation for 15 days.

During the hearing of arguments, the Delhi police accused the four of indulging in an act of terrorism and said they tried to incite fear.

“It was a well-planned attack on Parliament,” it said.

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