Tribune News Service
New Delhi, 14 October
The Centre’s decision to give additional jurisdiction to the Border Security Force (BSF) within a 50-km radius along the international borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh has triggered a political storm, with several political parties in Punjab and West Bengal calling it an “attack”. “Agreed. on federalism”.
A notification issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on October 11 empowered BSF officers to arrest, search and seize 50 km inside Punjab, West Bengal, Assam and Tripura.
attack on federalism
The Centre’s decision violates constitutional public order and policing permits of the states. Half of Punjab will now come under the jurisdiction of BSF. -Manish Tiwari, Congress MP from Punjab
This is a violation of the rights of the state. What was the sudden need to increase the BSF’s jurisdiction without informing the West Bengal government? -Kunal Ghosh, TMS spokesperson
A senior MHA official said, “The order aims to establish uniformity in defining the area within which the BSF can operate in accordance with its charter of duties and carry out its task of guarding the borders. It will also enable better operational effectiveness in securing the International Border (IB).”
Noting that the MHA has notified amendments to the BSF Act, 1968, the official said that earlier, these limits were different from state to state. In Gujarat, it was 80 km, while in the case of Rajasthan it was 50 km and in Punjab, Bengal, Assam and Tripura it was 15 km. He said that under Section 139 of the Act, the Center has the authority to notify the area and extent of operations of the BSF.