Punjab CM slams MHA move to empower BSF to arrest & search in 50 km border belt in 3 states; Amarinder backs decision | India News


NEW DELHI: Even as Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi criticized the Center’s “anti-federal” decision to arm BSF with powers of search, seizure and arrest in a 50 km belt along the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, instead of 15 km earlier, the BSF justified the measure by saying that it has established uniformity in the definition of the area within which the border guard force may operate according to its statute of duties.
“The amendment made on October 11, 2021 establishes uniformity in the definition of the area within which the Border Security Force can operate according to its charter of functions and the execution of its function and task of border surveillance in its areas of This will also allow an operational improvement effectiveness to curb cross-border crime in an extension of 50 km from the international border within the states of the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, along the borders of India, “BSF said in a statement on Wednesday.
Previously, BSF’s jurisdiction was set at 80 km in the case of Gujarat, 50 km in the case of Rajasthan and 15 km in the case of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, compared to 50 km now for all these states.
In a tweet posted hours after TOI posted the story about MHA notifying BSF’s extended area of ​​jurisdiction, the Chief Minister of Punjab said: “I strongly condemn the unilateral decision of the Government of India to grant additional powers to BSF within 50 KMs that run along international borders, which is a direct attack on federalism. ”He asked Interior Minister Amit Shah to immediately reverse“ this irrational decision. ”Previously, the leader of the Congress of Punjab Manish Tewari it had questioned the Center’s decision to expand BSF’s jurisdiction to cover “half of Punjab”, asking whether the state government had been consulted previously. He also asked Channi to oppose the measure.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal of Shiromani Akali Dal asked Channi to reveal what he had discussed with Interior Minister Amit Shah when they met last week. “He (Channi) appears to have cleared the covers for GOI’s highly dangerous move to hand over half the state to @BSF_India. It couldn’t have been done without the consent of the Pb government! “she tweeted.

In another tweet, he asked the CM to state how his government proposes to prevent the Center from sabotaging the democratic process and federal principle in Punjab, or to abdicate.
Even the former head of the Punjab Congress, Sunil Jakhar, asked Channi in a tweet to be careful what he asked for.

Has @CHARANJITCHANNI inadvertently managed to hand over half of Punjab to the central government (to BSF)? Punjab police are punished. Do we want even more autonomy for the states? “, I ask.
However, BSF sources said this was an incorrect interpretation, as their powers to search, seize and arrest while serving their mandate within 50 kilometers of the border in no way undermined the powers of the state police to carry out the investigation. surveillance in the same section.
The head of BJP’s national information and technology department, Amit Malviya, dismissed opposition to the Center’s decision on BSF’s powers, with a tweet that read: “Unnecessary fuss over BSF’s permission to search and seize 50 kms within West Bengal, Punjab and Assam, a state ruled by BJP. Section 139 of the BSF Act of 1968 empowers the Center to notify the operational area. Gujarat (now 50 km from 80 before) and Rajasthan also have similar boundaries. ”

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