Accept Z Security: Amit Shah Urges Owaisi After Threat Assessment

Earlier on February 3, Owaisi's car was attacked in Hapur while he was returning to Delhi after campaigning in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming Assembly elections.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha on firing on the vehicle of AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi. (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday urged AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi to accept the Z plus security given to him by the central government which the latter had refused after his convoy was attacked last week at Hapur in western Uttar Pradesh. Requesting Owaisi to accept the government’s security cover, Shah while speaking on the floor of the Rajya Sabha informed that the AIMIM chief still faces security threat. 

“Soon after the incident, the Home Ministry took a report from the state government on the incident. On basis of earlier inputs from central security agencies, the Centre had ordered to provide him security. But due to his unwillingness to avail security, Delhi and Telangana police’s efforts to provide him security didn’t succeed,” Shah said addressing the Rajya Sabha. 

“Two unidentified people had fired on Owaisi’s convoy. He came out safe but there were three bullet marks on the lower portion of his vehicle,” the Home Minister said, adding that the incident was witnessed by three witnesses. 

He also informed that an FIR has been registered to investigate the matter. 

Shah further said, “The threat to Owaisi has been reassessed and a bulletproof vehicle and Z category security has been given to him. But, as per verbal information by himself, he has refused to accept security given by the Centre.”

Earlier on February 3, the Hyderabad MP’s car came under attack in Hapur while he was returning to Delhi after campaigning in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming Assembly elections. However, nobody was injured in the incident. 

Owaisi rejected ‘Z’ category security

A day after Owaisi’s convoy was attacked, the Centre on February 4 approved Z category security for AIMIM chief and offered him the pan-India Z category security, but he rejected the cover, saying he would prefer to be treated like an “A-category” citizen of the country. 

“I don’t want Z category security. I want to be an A-category citizen instead. Why was UAPA not invoked against those who fired at me? 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,” the MP said while addressing the Lok Sabha later. 

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What Is ‘Z’ Category Security?

Z security is the second highest security cover provided by the Centre to people in power. It’s not like anyone who is threatened, and who expresses a threat to their life, will receive central government protection. Security cover by the central government is generally given only to someone who holds a position of consequence either in the government or in civil society. The security is therefore also informally called “VIP security”.

Z+, Z, Y+, Y, and X are the five different levels of security cover provided by the government in India. There also lies one more level of security cover called Special Protection Group (SPG), which is an exclusive privilege for the Prime Minister of the country.

Different Categories Of Security Provided By the Government of India

Under Z plus security, the person who receives protection gets a strong security detail comprising personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and commandos of the elite National Security Guard (NSG) along with local police.  

While, Z security cover comes with 30 armed personnel split between residential and mobile security, where six gunmen are provided for mobile security.

In Y+ security cover, six personal security officers are deployed with the protectee on a rotational basis in three shifts and five personnel (one CRPF commander and four constables) are stationed at a residence of the person seeking protection. While in Y security cover, a total of eight personnel security is provided which three-armed personal security officers are deployed with the protectee on a rotation basis in three shifts and five personnel are stationed at the residence of the protectee.

The last category is the X security cover, the person protected is provided with three personal security officers accompanying the protectee, one at a time. 

Then comes the Special Protection Group (SPG), the strength of the SPG is kept classified and is provided to the current and former Prime Minister of India and to their immediate families. It was formed in 1988, after the assignation of Indira Gandhi in 1984.

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