NEW DELHI: Congress might have slammed as “anti-federal” the house ministry’s determination to increase BSF’s powers of seizure, search and arrest to a 50 km belt operating alongside the worldwide border in West Bengal, Assam, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan, however in 2011, the then UPA authorities had gone a step additional.
The UPA had introduced a invoice in Rajya Sabha looking for to arm BSF with powers to look, seize and arrest in any a part of the nation the place it’s deployed leading to appreciable opposition to the proposed transfer.
The opposition events then led by BJP put up a stiff resistance citing federal issues, forcing UPA to defer the Border Safety Pressure (Modification) Invoice in March 2012. This was regardless of the department-related standing committee on residence affairs, then chaired by M Venkaiah Naidu, having adopted the invoice in November 2011 with none modifications.
BJP-ruled states, together with Gujarat the place PM Narendra Modi was then CM, opposed the transfer. The proposal on the time was, nonetheless, extra sweeping than the choice taken by the NDA authorities.
Then residence minister P Chidambaram had, whereas looking for passage of the invoice within the Rajya Sabha in March 2012, underlined that BSF is often deployed within the hinterland “on request of the state governments” for duties starting from inside safety to countering Left wing extremism or northeast insurgency to tackling communal riots and pure calamities, despite the fact that its constitution restricted its mandate to frame areas notified every now and then underneath Part 139 of the BSF Act, 1968.
He argued that an enabling provision was wanted within the BSF Act to offer the drive powers to look, seize and arrest within the hinterland, in order to make sure its operational effectiveness. Chidambaram additionally highlighted that related enabling provisions already existed within the Acts governing CRPF, ITBP and SSB.
Chidambaram knowledgeable the Rajya Sabha that solely 13 of 29 states from which MHA had sought feedback on the proposed invoice, had reverted, with Sikkim being the lone state to oppose the invoice. West Bengal had then supported arming BSF with powers of seizure, search and arrest for duties, whereas Punjab and Assam by no means turned of their feedback regardless of MHA reminders.

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