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Centre provides ‘Z+’ CRPF security cover to J-K’s Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari

The Centre has provided ‘Z+’ category armed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) security cover to former People’s Democratic Party leader and Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, top government sources said.

The security was accorded by the Ministry of Home Affairs following a recent security review meeting based on an Intelligence Bureau threat analysis. Businessman-turned-politician and former minister Altaf Bukhari (65) will be provided ‘Z+’ category security round the clock in Jammu and Kashmir, the sources told ANI.

Bukhari floated the J&K Apni Party (JKAP) as an alternative to the regional parties such as the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), of which he was once a member.

The Apni Party, comprising mainly legislators and former ministers, was founded in March 2020, eight months after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. Since then, nearly two dozen legislators from different outfits have joined it.

In March 2020, all prominent leaders of the party met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah with their demand to safeguard the land rights and jobs of the J&K people.

Bukhari had then said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah appreciated the party’s efforts. The Apni Party has been holding a series of rallies to create an impact on the voters, especially in Kashmir.

It also held a mega rally in Srinagar last year, considered 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.