'Y' Category Security Cover to SII CEO Adar Poonawalla

The security cover has been provided in light of alleged threats received because of the supply of Covishield.

New Delhi: Serum Institute of India (SII)’s CEO Adar Poonawalla has been accorded ‘Y’ category security across India by the CRPF in view of “potential threats” to the businessman, involved in the production of one of the COVID-19 vaccines in India, the Union government officials said on Wednesday.

The Central government decision came after the director (government and regulatory affairs) at the Pune-based SII, Prakash Kumar Singh, had written to Union home minister Amit Shah on April 16 requesting security for Poonawalla.

According to officials, the protection has been given in view of “potential threats” to Poonawalla.

Armed commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will be with him every time he travels to any part of the country, they said and added that the ‘Y’ security cover will entail a posse of about 4-5 armed commandos with him.

Covishield, one of the two COVID-19 vaccine candidates used in India’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, is being manufactured by SII. The other candidate being used in the country is Covaxin made by Bharat Biotech.

In this letter, Singh had stated that Poonawalla has been getting threats from various groups regarding the supply of Covishield.

In this letter, Singh also said, “We are working shoulder to shoulder to fight against COVID-19 pandemic with the Government of India under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji.”