Police Explain How Sagar Sharma Smuggled Smoke Cans Into Parliament

New Delhi: Sagar Sharma and D Manoranjan – the two men who popped yellow smoke canisters inside Parliament, sparking

Police Explain How Sagar Sharma Smuggled Smoke Cans Into Parliament

New Delhi:

Sagar Sharma and D Manoranjan – the two men who popped yellow smoke canisters inside Parliament, sparking a major security scare – smuggled them inside cavities cut into the left sole of custom-made sports shoes, or sneakers, Delhi Police told NDTV Friday morning.

The soles of shoes worn on their left feet – which carried the canisters – were found to have extra padding, thanks to a second rubber slip glued to the bottom to support the cavities, the police said in its FIR, or first information report, a copy of which has been accessed exclusively by NDTV.

Sagar Sharma wore a pair of khaki-coloured socks with the shoes, which were reportedly built to order in Lucknow, his home town. Sharma, who has been sent to police custody – as have Manoranjan and the two who popped cans outside Parliament, Neelam Devi and Amol Shinde – will be taken to Lucknow to identify the shop that made these shoes, Delhi Police said Thursday evening.

Sharma wore light grey shoes while Manoranjan’s shoes were a darker grey, the police FIR said.

The inside sole of the shoe Manoranjan wore on his right foot was also found to have a cavity, and this too was supported with a second rubber slip fixed to the bottom. Manoranjan wore dark blue socks with his shoes. The shoes and socks have been bagged as part of forensic inquiries, police said.

In addition, the police also recovered the canisters Sharma and Manoranjan used, as well as documents confirming their identities; these included Aadhaar cards from Lucknow and Mysuru.

Finally, the police also seized two partly-torn pamphlets.

One had the phrase ‘Jai Hind’ in English with a picture of a closed fist, in the colours of the Indian flag, and a slogan in Hindi, while the second had an English slogan on ethnic violence in Manipur.

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Earlier, the police said Sharma and Manoranjan wanted to deliver these pamphlets to Prime Minister Narendra Modi – not in the House – to highlight issues like unemployment. Police also said they had a pamphlet calling the PM a “missing person” with a cash reward from a Swiss bank on offer.

Used smoke cans were also recovered from outside Parliament, where Neelam Devi and Amol Shinde staged the other half of Wednesday’s protest. Four cans and some firecrackers were seized.

Each of the smoke canisters had warning labels cautioning against use in indoor or crowded places, as also against sale to those below 18 years of age. There were strict warnings on how to use the cans, which included the use of goggles or gloves, and to retreat to a safe distance after activation.

Sharma, Manoranjan, Devi, and Shinde – the four who popped the smoke cans – were sent to police custody for week, starting Thursday. Delhi Police’s Special Cell, which is leading this inquiry, plans to take all four to Parliament again, to re-create the sequence of attacks and identify security flaws.

The alleged mastermind, Lalit Jha, was arrested last evening after being on the run for over 48 hours; he had fled to Rajasthan’s Naguar before returning to surrender.

READ | Lalit Jha, Parliament Breach Planner, May Have Burned Key Evidence: Sources

Police sources told NDTV they suspect Jha, who filmed the protest outside Parliament and uploaded it online before fleeing, may have destroyed his accomplices’ phones in a bid to destroy critical evidence.

A sixth accused – Vicky Sharma – is also in custody; he sheltered the others at his home in Gurugram. Police have also named a seventh – Mahesh, a labourer, who was supposed to join the others.

The breach triggered a massive political row, with the opposition demanding the government explain how this happened, particularly at a newly-built complex that is supposed to have more security than the older building, the site of a deadly terror attack in 2001 that claimed nine lives.

Fourteen opposition MPs – all but one from the Lok Sabha – were suspended Thursday, amid demands for a government statement and calls to question BJP MP Prathap Simha, whose office requested the visitor passes that gave Sharma and Manoranjan access to the Lok Sabha.

READ | “Does BJP Understand Democracy?” DMK’s Kanimozhi After Suspenion

Mr Simha has denied any link to what happened, and has pointed out passes were issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, the final authority on security inside the Parliament.

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