The House Ministry’s order extending the jurisdiction of the Border Safety Drive (BSF) in West Bengal, Punjab and Assam — giving them powers of arrest, search and seizure deeper inside these states — raised political hackles on Wednesday, particularly in Congress-controlled Punjab.
Underneath the brand new order, the BSF’s jurisdiction is now a 50 km belt alongside the borders of those states —up from 15 km earlier. Its jurisdiction, nonetheless, has been minimize quick by 20 km in Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya — the place it had jurisdiction as much as 80 km.

Equally in Gujarat, the BSF’s jurisdiction has been curtailed from 80 to 50 km. In Rajasthan, the BSF’s space of jurisdiction will stay the identical at 50 km.
Part 139 of the Border Safety Drive Act, 1968, empowers the Centre to make such modifications. Each order made beneath it, nonetheless, should be subsequently laid earlier than every Home of Parliament, which might both modify or annul it.

Listed below are the highest developments:

Whereas the implications and motives of the newest order are assessed, the transfer has as soon as once more pitted Congress leaders towards one another
Whereas Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi and his deputy Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa criticised the transfer, former State CM Amarinder Singh endorsed the choice.

Punjab CM Channi slams Centre

Reacting to the House Ministry order, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday objected to the growth of BSF’s energy and tweeted: “I strongly condemn the GoI’s unilateral determination to offer further powers to BSF inside 50 KM belt operating alongside the worldwide borders, which is a direct assault on the federalism. I urge the Union House Minister Amit Shah to right away rollback this irrational determination.”

Manish Tewari, Congress MP from Anandpur Sahib, tweeted: “MHA Notification enhancing operational mandate of BSF, 15 to 50 KM’s in Punjab,West Bengal &Assam transgresses upon Constitutional Public order & Policing remit of States Half of Punjab will now fall beneath BSF jurisdiction @CHARANJITCHANNI should oppose it.”

He added in one other tweet, “Mischievous a part of Part 139 of BSF Act ‘…or of any cognizable offence punishable beneath another Central Act; or punishable beneath another Central Act..,’ It permits GOI to institutionalise another policing paradigm. Was Punjab Govt consulted?”

Federalism being weakened: Punjab deputy CM

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa termed the choice an try and ‘weaken the spirit of federalism’. “There are not any justifiable causes for unilaterally altering the prevailing preparations by the Authorities of India, besides to weaken the State Authorities and the spirit of federalism”, asserted the Deputy CM.
In a press release, Randhawa, who additionally holds the portfolio of House Affairs, stated: “This illogical determination was completely towards the spirit of the elevating of border guarding forces, that are required to deal with the worldwide border and act as the primary line of defence.” He stated that policing within the hinterland will not be the position of a border guarding pressure, fairly it will weaken the capability of the Border Safety Drive in discharging its main obligation of guarding the worldwide border.

Will name on PM, says Randhawa

The Deputy CM additional stated that he would quickly personally name on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union House Minister Amit Shah to resolve this challenge.
In the meantime, Randhawa categorically stated that Channi has neither raised this challenge with the Centre nor requested for enhancing the jurisdiction of BSF together with the worldwide border.
Emphasizing the necessity for glorious cooperation between Central and State companies, Randhawa stated that such coordination should be enhanced with info sharing for taking immediate motion to withstand unlawful actions. He additional stated that joint operations towards medication and terrorist modules have been efficiently carried out between the BSF and Punjab Police up to now in addition to mechanisms for info sharing and coordination are already in place.

Punjab police castigated: Jakhar

Former Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar on Wednesday raised questions over the state authorities’s transfer to ask the Centre to “seal” the worldwide border of the state and stated Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has “unwittingly managed handy over” half of Punjab to the Central authorities.
Taking to Twitter, Jakhar claimed that the transfer “castigated” the Punjab Police.
“Watch out what you ask for! Has Charanjit Singh Channi unwittingly managed handy over half of Punjab to the Central govt. 25000sq km (out of a complete of fifty,000sq km) has now been positioned beneath BSF jurisdiction. Punjab Police stands castigated. Will we nonetheless need extra autonomy to States?” Jakhar tweeted.

Amarinder helps transfer

Former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh endorsed the Centre’s determination and stated Central armed forces shouldn’t be dragged into politics.

“Our troopers are being killed in Kashmir. We’re seeing an increasing number of weapons and medicines being pushed by Pak-backed terrorists into Punjab. BSF’s enhanced presence & powers will solely make us stronger. Let’s not drag central armed forces into politics,” stated the previous CM as per a tweet from his media advisor Raveen Thukral.

“Partisan issues can’t & shouldn’t dictate our stand on problems with nationwide safety. I’d stated that on the time of the 2016 surgical strikes & am saying it once more. We’ve to rise above politics when India’s safety is at stake, as it’s now,” added one other tweet by Thukral.

To curb trafficking, says BSF

As per the House Ministry notification, the Central authorities has revised the ‘Schedule’ specifying the border stretch the place BSF would have powers of search, seizure and arrest beneath Acts like Passport Act, NDPS Act, Customs Act and so forth in addition to Felony Process Code (CrPC) to the states of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Meghalaya; UTs of J&Ok and Ladakh; and 50 km-belt in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam. As per earlier notifications revealed on September 22, 1969; June 11, 2012; and July 3, 2014; the ‘Schedule’ space comprised the states of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura Meghalaya and J&Ok and space inside 80 km border belt in Gujarat, 50 km in Rajasthan, and 15 km in West Bengal, Assam and Punjab.
Whereas the addition of an additional 35-km stretch to the BSF’s mandate may rile the affected states – Punjab, West Bengal and Assam (the latter two dominated by Opposition events) – and make them query the step as an encroachment upon their powers and towards the federal construction, BSF sources stated it will empower its personnel to hold out operations towards narcotics/arms trafficking and unlawful infiltration seamlessly in border stretches. “We are able to act on info relating to entry and motion of traffickers and intruders until 50 km contained in the border, fairly than be restricted by the necessity to coordinate with the state police past 15 km,” stated an officer.

Not ultimate but

It was not instantly clear if state governments had been taken on board earlier than issuing the newest notification. Nonetheless, each order made beneath Part 139 of BSF Act should be subsequently laid earlier than every Home of Parliament, which might both modify or annul it.
Or not it’s recalled that an try by the erstwhile UPA authorities in 2011 to amend the BSF Act to increase the pressure’s powers of search, seizure and arrest past the border stretches and embrace different areas – corresponding to Left-wing extremism-hit states in the place BSF is deployed – had met with fierce resistance from the then opposition-ruled states in addition to many opposition events in Parliament, main the federal government to withdraw the Invoice from the Rajya Sabha.

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