A nine-member Lok Sabha committee on Tuesday asked Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma why he had taken no action against Bhagwant Mann after the Sangrur AAP MP filmed Parliament House complex and posted the video online. The committee had been set up by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to examine whether Manns act compromised the security of Parliament. Verma promised to revert to the committee on the matter in writing.
As Mann sought that Prime Minister Narendra Modi also face action for allowing Pakistani officials into the Pathankot airbase, the committee examined Verma as well as senior police officers in charge of security at Parliament House.
The panel told the Delhi Police chief that Mann had put up his video of Parliament House several days ago and this was widely reported in the media. Why then hadnt the Delhi Police, charged with securing the campus, felt the need to investigate the breach, the members asked Verma.
Mann, suspended from the Lok Sabha till August 3, wrote to the Speaker on Tuesday saying Modi should face the same action as him for “inviting the ISI to the Pathankot airbase” and thereby “breaching national security”.
While he has tendered a written apology to Mahajan promising not to repeat such filming of the Parliament premises, he maintained that the PM was guilty of a similar mistake. “The video I made was educational. I just wanted to show people how things work in Parliament. It was a simple video. I apologised in writing that it was done unintentionally, but my apology was not accepted and I was suspended. Now I am being compared to Afzal Guru and David Headley, and it is also being said that I am involved with some terrorist organisations and that the matter needs to be investigated,” Mann told reporters at the AAP office in New Delhi.
“A nine-member committee led by (BJP MP) Kirit Somaiya has been set up. If that is the case, I have demanded that PM Narendra Modi should also be summoned. The same ISI that has attacked our country so many times and was also involved in the Pathankot attack was invited by Modi and given a tour of the airbase in an air-conditioned bus. They were later offered lunch.”
“The ISI now knows the entire geography of the Pathankot airbase. If I have made a mistake by filming the Parliament complex, then Modis mistake was 100 times bigger. He is also an MP and therefore he too should be suspended. The jurisdiction of the committee should be expanded and Modi should also be summoned for an explanation.”
Mann said he would reiterate his demand on Thursday, when he is slated to appear before the committee investigating the matter.
The Sangrur MP was backed by senior party leaders and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who said Mann had made a “very valid point” and his demands were justified.