Our son can't do this: Parents of Parliament security breach mastermind Lalit Jha

BIHAR: Days after the Parliament security breach had shocked the nation, the parents of the alleged mastermind Lalit Jha, are still in a state of disbelief.

Jha's father Devanand, who practices priestcraft in Kolkata to make ends meet, is visibly discomfited by the attention his dilapidated ancestral house in Bihar has since been attracting.

"I came to know about my son's arrest through other people. As you all can see, we do not even own a TV set", Devanand Jha told journalists at his house in Rampur Uday, a nondescript village in Darbhanga district.

His wife Manjula, who looked dazed, screamed amid sobs "My child is not a rogue. He cannot indulge in wrongdoings. He has always loved to help people. He has donated his blood three times".

It has been a week since the couple last saw their 32-year-old son, who handed himself over to the Delhi police on Thursday, two days after four persons, two of whom found their way into the Lok Sabha's visitors' gallery, entered the Parliament building carrying canisters that emitted yellow, foul smelling gases.

The security breach took place on the anniversary of the 2001 terror attack at the old Sansad Bhavan and, predictably, has triggered a political slugfest.

Some of the arrested persons shouted patriotic slogans and claimed their intent was to make a statement against rising unemployment that has driven the country's youth against the wall.

However, the ruling BJP has alleged that they had been set up by the fledgling INDIA coalition.

Lalit Jha, who had stayed back in Kolkata when his parents boarded their train to Darbhanga on December 10, has been accused of close links with the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, a key INDIA constituent, a charge vehemently denied by the party headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

However, his parents look askance when they are told about the furious speculations around their unassuming son.

"My son was a bright student who had started helping me financially by giving tuitions. We were to come together to Darbhanga together during Chhath. We did so every year. This time, because of a very high rush, we could not get the tickets. So we had to postpone our annual visit", recalled the father.

He added, "Lalit had come to see us off at the railway station and promised to join us later, saying he was going to Delhi for some work. He has never been into politics though he liked to support social causes and been associated with NGOs".

However, the parents cry out in unison when they are reminded that their son has been booked under the stringent UAPA and it may take long before a court deems it fit to grant him bail.

"We will beg the court to have mercy on our son. There must have been some mix-up. He cannot be a part of anything nefarious", they said amid sobs, bracing for the tough legal battle they must endure.


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