Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Centre government increased BSF jurisdiction area

Centre government increased BSF jurisdiction area

The Centre government has empowered the Border Security Force (BSF) to conduct searches, arrest suspects and make seizures up to 50 km inside the Indian territory from the International Border with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The Centre government has said the move aimed to ensure "zero tolerance" against terrorism and cross-border crimes. Still, the same could trigger administrative and politicals issues in the border states of Punjab, West Bengal, and Assam, with the first two of them having non-BJP parties at the helm.

Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi has already condemned the move calling it a direct attack on federalism while urging Union home minister Amit Shah to roll back the decision immediately.

The CM wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

"I strongly condemn the GoI's unilateral decision to give additional powers to BSF within 50 KM belt running along the international borders, which is a direct attack on the federalism. I urge the Union Home Minister @AmitShah to immediately rollback this irrational decision,"

However, Amarinder Singh, who had to resign as the Punjab CM amid heightened tension within the Congress and led to Channi's elevation as the chief minister, said the BSF's enhanced presence

"will only make us stronger."

The captain tweeted.

"Our soldiers are being killed in Kashmir. We're seeing more and more weapons and drugs being pushed by Pakistan-backed terrorists into Punjab. BSF's enhanced presence and powers will only make us stronger. Let's not drag central armed forces into politics,"

According to an ANI report, a fresh order issued earlier this week authorized the BSF to take action only up to 15km inside Punjab, Bengal, and Assam, to spread its jurisdiction up to 50 km without any hurdle or further permission either from central or state governments.

Centre government increased BSF jurisdiction area 1unsplash image

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However, its jurisdiction has been cut short by 20km in the five northeastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya -- where it had jurisdiction up to 80 km. In Gujarat, the BSF can freely take action till only 50 km within the state from its earlier jurisdiction of 80km. In Rajasthan, the BSF's area of jurisdiction will remain the same at 50 km.

An officer of the rank corresponding to that of the lowest rank of member of the BSF

BSF is now empowered under CrPC to exercise and discharge the powers and duty without magistrate and warrant orders.

A News18 report said the BSF issued a statement hours later saying the step had been taking to "give uniformity to jurisdiction."

"The amendment effected on October 11, 2021, establishes uniformity in defining the area within which Border Security Force can operate as per its charter of duties and execution of its role and task of border guarding in its areas of deployment."

The force said in a statement.

"This will also enable improved operational effectiveness in curbing trans-border crime and to an extent of 50 km from the international boundary within the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, running along the borders of India. Earlier, the limit was fixed to 80 km in case of Gujarat and 15 km in case of Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam,"

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