Nothing new, have been Z+ protectee since 2015: Altaf Bukhari on security upgrade

ByMir Ehsan, Srinagar
Apr 05, 2023 11:35 PM IST

Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari says he has received foolproof security within and outside Jammu and Kashmir has been a Z+ protectee for the last eight years

Hours after the announcement of the Centre according Z+ security to Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari, the leader has come forward to say he has been covered in the category for the last eight years.

Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari was given Z+ protectee by the Centre. (HT File)
Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari was given Z+ protectee by the Centre. (HT File)

Speaking of the same, Bukhari said, “It’s not new, I have been provided Z Plus security since 2015. said Altaf Bukhari. I have received fool-proof security whenever I move within J&K or outside the UT.”

News agencies had earlier reported that the Union home ministry accorded the cover of armed commandos that will be jointly provided by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Jammu and Kashmir Police to Bukhari. “The union territory (UT) police will take care of his security (Z+) in their jurisdiction while the CRPF will ensure the cover at other locations,” the report said, adding that a contingent of about 20-24 armed personnel will work in shifts to ensure round-the-clock security for Bukari.

Notably, Bukhari has been holding back-to-back rallies across the UT for the past year or so and has been expanding the base of his party, which he had formed in 2020. A large number of former legislators and ministers have since jumped ship and joined Apni Party, which is said to be eyeing a post-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party BJP whenever elections are held.

Apni Party was established months after the abrogation of Article 370 and since then, nearly two dozen legislators from different outfits have joined it. In March 2020, all prominent leaders of the party had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah with their demand of safeguarding the land rights and jobs of the region’s people, with Bukhari saying that the duo had appreciated the party’s work.

The Apni Party has been working tirelessly to woo voters, especially in Kashmir. It had also held a mega rally in Srinagar last year, viewed as one of the biggest in the Valley post-August 5, 2019.

Though the Apni Party has openly criticised the government for its anti-encroachment drive, Bukhari had said that he was open to forge an alliance with the BJP. “There will be some announcements and decisions related to the party on Wednesday,” he said.

Other than Altaf Bukhari, four former chief ministers of J&K - Omar Abdullah; Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Ghulam Nabi Azad enjoy Z+ security due to their threat from militants.

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