Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal is now entitled to “Z” category security as chief minister-designate but during his gruelling campaign for Delhi elections it was a team of dedicated volunteers, including a scrap dealer and a woman, that provided him proximate security.
The team of 12 volunteers role was one: To ensure Kejriwal’s meetings and campaign rallies went off without any problem or harm to his person.
“Keeping in view attacks on Kejriwal during last year Lok Sabha elections campaign, we chose 12 volunteers from our party to provide him security cover,” Mohammad Usman Siddiqui, a Supreme Court lawyer and an aide, told IANS.
“The team was formed following negative publicity over attacks on Kejriwal in the last election,” he said.
A 38-year-old auto driver had slapped Kejriwal April 8, 2014 during a roadshow in west Delhi’s Sultanpuri. He was also attacked by a 19-year-old youth during his campaigning in Dakshinpuri area of south Delhi April 4.
Siddiqui said their duty was to protect Kejriwal from any physical attacks.
“Except of one incident in which someone threw egg towards Arvind in a meeting, the meetings went without any glitch,” he said proudly.
Giving details about the security team, he said, the volunteers were from diverse backgrounds.
The volunteers were divided into batches of four.
Kejriwal addressed about 120 meetings for two months, beginning December, and at any given time four volunteers would stay with him like a shadows, Siddiqui added.
Gulshan Anand, 56, a scrap dealer, who was part of the team of volunteers, said every team provided security to Kejriwal on an average of 40 meetings.
A woman volunteer, who was a homemaker, was also part of the 12 member team, he said.
The security team, formed in December last year, used to do a recce of the places for public meeting two hours before Kejriwal’s arrival.
Trilok Singh, another volunteer, told IANS that their job was to check each campaign venue and also to check the stage.
It was also their job to stop people from coming onto the dais to meet Kejriwal.
“We used to make a security ring around our party chief from the beginning to the end of any public meeting,” Singh, a transporter, told IANS.
Kejriwal has now been provided Z category security, a most elaborate protection of around 30 armed officers, by the Delhi Police.
Kejriwal has refused to accept the security cover.
But the Delhi Police officers told IANS that they are bound to provide him security considering threats to his life.
Superintendent of Police Ghaziabad Vippin Tada told IANS that Kejriwal’s Ghaziabad apartment will be guarded by 10 inspectors, 50 male and 10 women constables till he moves to his new home as chief minister of Delhi.