It was on December 13, 2001 that five terrorists affiliated with Pakistan-based militant organisations, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, orchestrated the attack, leading to the loss of nine lives and injuring 18 others, including six Delhi police personnel and two Parliament security officials.
The assailants, armed with AK-47 rifles, grenades, grenade launchers, and handguns, breached the Parliament premises on that fateful day. Driving a White Ambassador with counterfeit Home Ministry stickers, they broke through successive security cordons, accidentally colliding with one of the vehicles in the Vice President’s cavalcade.
Upon entering, the terrorists opened fire, claiming the life of CRPF constable Kamlesh Kumari. However, the Members of Parliament present in the building at the time managed to escape unharmed. One of the attackers, wearing a suicide vest, detonated it after being shot, resulting in his death. The other four terrorists were also neutralized.
The subsequent investigation was led by the Delhi Police’s anti-terror squad, Special Cell, established in 1986 to address and investigate terrorism-related incidents. The primary suspects identified were Afzal Guru and his cousin Shaukat Hussain Guru. In 2013, Afzal Guru was sentenced to death and subsequently executed in Tihar Jail.
The aftermath of the Parliament attack escalated tensions between Indian and Pakistani military forces in 2001 and 2002. This period saw significant troop build-up along the Line of Control (LoC), leading to heightened tensions in the Kashmir Valley region.
As India commemorates the sacrifice of the martyrs who thwarted the attack, the scars of 2001 serve as a sombre reminder of the challenges posed by terrorism and the importance of steadfast efforts to ensure national security.