All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday turned down the Centre’s Z category security hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha urged the Hyderabad parliamentarian to accept it, NDTV reported.

“Owaisi will be safe once the Dalits, the downtrodden and the minorities of this country are safe,” he said.

Owaisi was first offered Z security after gunmen shot at his car on February 3 in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district. However, he had rejected it.

The Z category is the second-highest level of security cover. It is provided by armed commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force.

On Friday, he said that his life is not more valuable than that of the 22 citizens who died during the protests after the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed in December 2019, ANI reported. The MP said he does not like armed people around him. “I’m a free bird, [I] want to live freely,” said Owaisi.

Earlier in the day, Shah in the Rajya Sabha had said that Owaisi had no scheduled events on February 3 in Hapur and no information about his movement was sent to the District Control Room beforehand. He added that after the attack, the AIMIM chief had reached Delhi safely.

Two men have been arrested for the attack on Owaisi in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district. The police have recovered one unlicensed pistol each and also seized a car.

“A forensic team is conducting an investigation on the car and is collecting evidence at the site of the incident,” Shah said. “Both the accused persons are being questioned by the Uttar Pradesh Police.”

Shah said that Delhi and the Telangana Police could not provide security to Owaisi since he had refused. “On the basis of a reassessment, a bulletproof car and Z category have been given to him [Owaisi],” he added.