Don't want Z category security, make me A category citizen: Owaisi speaks on attack

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Owaisi urged the government to end radicalisation in the country and book those who attacked him under the UAPA.
A screenshot from Owaisi's speech in Parliament speaking about the attack against him
A screenshot from Owaisi's speech in Parliament speaking about the attack against him
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All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief and Hyderabad Member of Parliament (MP) Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday, February 4, said that he wanted to reject the 'Z' security cover extended to him by the government after an attack on him. Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Owaisi urged the government to end radicalisation in the country and asked why those who attacked him were not being charged with stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, like in several other cases.

"I don't want Z category security. I want to be an A-category citizen, at par with you all. 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," he said in Parliament.

Owaisi pointed out that in 2015, he recommended that the Union Home Ministry’s internal security department take steps to form a counter-radicalisation cell that encompassed those in all religions.

“When we talk about radicalisation, we heard from a Congress leader (Rahul Gandhi) earlier that there are two Indias — rich and poor. This is not so…There are two Indias — one based on love which has existed for a long time, and one is being created on hatred. If we believe in the India of love, then there is no place to shoot me to stop me from talking,” he said.

“I am not afraid of death. All of us have to leave this world someday. I was born in this country. When my mother gave birth to me, I was put down on the floor. When I close my eyes too, I will be buried here. I don't want the Z category category. I have been in politics since 1994. I want to live freely. If I want to live, I want to raise my voice. If I get shot for this, I will accept it,” he added.

The Hyderabad MP also said that when there was a security breach in the Prime Minister’s convoy in Punjab, he had spoken in Parliament and condemned it. “Many members of secular parties asked me why I did so. I said the country’s Prime Minister is mine. If security breach has happened, action should be taken. But when a four-time MP is shot from a distance of six feet — my death is there. Everyone has a death. But I will not fear these people who fire bullets and sit quiet. I hope that the people of Uttar Pradesh will give a response to bullets with the ballot and a response to hate with love,” he added.

Watch the full video of Owaisi’s speech in Parliament below.

On Thursday, gunshots were fired at Owaisi's vehicle at Hapur in western Uttar Pradesh when he was returning to Delhi after campaigning for the Assembly elections. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said the state government has arrested the culprits and also seized the weapon and vehicle used in the attack. Goyal said Home Minister Amit Shah will make a statement in the House on Monday.

Owaisi on Thursday asked the Election Commission to ensure an independent probe into the incident. Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said one person involved in the episode was arrested and a pistol seized from him. The police also said multiple teams are investigating the case. An inspector general of the Meerut zone was rushed in to supervise the probe.

Elections are scheduled for February 10 in 58 Assembly constituencies across 11 districts of western Uttar Pradesh. The elections are being held over seven phases. 

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