Amit Shah Requests Asaduddin Owaisi to ‘Accept Z Cover’ as Security Threat Still Persists
On February 4, the Centre had accorded 'Z' category of security to the AIMIM Chief following a firing incident that occurred when he was returning to Delhi from Meerut.
New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday requested All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi to take the Z Plus central security cover, accorded to him after evaluation of threat perception, reported news agencies. Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha on Monday over the incident of firing at the carcade of Owaisi on February 3, Amit Shah further said that two persons have been arrested and the Union Home Ministry has sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government.
“An FIR has been lodged in the Pilakhua Police station in UP and the local police is investigating the case with all seriousness and minutely. Two unidentified people had fired on the carcade. He came out safe but there were three bullet marks on the lower portion of the vehicle,” Shah said in his statement. The incident was seen by three witnesses, he added.
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The Home Minister also said that Owaisi did not have a planned event in Hapur and the district authorities were not informed of his trip. “We have assessed his security threat and decided to give him security. I request him to accept the security cover, Shah said, adding that in the past too, he was accorded with the central security but he refused,” he said.
Round the clock security cover in Delhi and Telangana
“I request him to take Security cover provided by the Central Reserve Police Force in which he will have bullet proof car and round the clock security cover in Delhi and in Telangana,” the Home Minister added further in his statement.
On February 4, the Centre had accorded ‘Z’ category of security to the AIMIM Chief following a firing incident that occurred when he was returning to Delhi from Meerut. The firing incident took place at a toll plaza in Hapur in Western Uttar Pradesh on February 3, 2022. The AIMIM president was in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut for campaigning.
Owaisi refused security cover citing bias against Muslim community
Shah’s appeal to Owaisi comes after the AIMIM chief turned down the offer of ‘Z’ security cover, which is the second-highest level of protection. “I don’t want ‘Z’ category security. I want to be an A-category citizen. Why was UAPA not invoked against those who fired at me?” he asked, referring to the controversial anti-terror law used extensively and disproportionately against Muslims (according to critics) by BJP-led governments.
“I want to live, to speak. My life will be safe when the poor are safe. I will not get scared of those who shot at my car,” Owaisi said in Parliament last week.
(With agency inputs)
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