India remembers parliament attack victims

New Delhi: Vice President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday led members of both houses of parliament in paying tribute to martyrs on the 10th anniversary of the attack on the Indian parliament.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and other members attended a ceremony held in the premises of the parliament.

The leaders observed a minute’s silence in remembrance of the victims.

A blood donation camp was organised in parliament by the Red Cross Society.

On December 13, 2001, five heavily armed gunmen stormed the Indian parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine people instantly. The victims included five Delhi Police personnel, a woman Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper, two parliament watch and ward staff and a gardener. A journalist who was injured died later. All five terrorists were shot dead.

A year later, four accused, including Afzal Guru, who were arrested for the attack, were found guilty after a trial.

Guru, who is said to be a Jaish-e-Mohammed militant, was the only accused to be awarded the death penalty. His mercy petition is pending with the President.