A bunch of mixed reactions are hopping from various political leaders a day after the Centre announced to extend the jurisdiction of the BSF to a 50-kilometre belt along the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam stating that it is a "brazen infringement upon the territory of states".
The opposition parties have slammed the Centre accusing of misuse of powers.
Assam Chief Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma has welcomed the Centre's decision. He said, "Assam welcomes the extension of BSF’s operational jurisdiction. In coordination with state police, this move will serve as a strong deterrent for defeating cross border smuggling and illegal infiltration."
"It strengths national security and national interest," he added.
According to a home ministry order, the BSF's jurisdiction in West Bengal, Punjab and Assam will be expanded from 15 km to a belt of 50 km within and along the boundary. The order says that the BSF can arrest, carry out searches and make seizures over a region where its powers could clash with those of the state police in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Pathankot. The Golden Temple located in Amritsar is around 35 km from the Attari border with Pakistan.
However, its jurisdiction has been cut short by 20 km in the five northeastern states-- Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya-- where it had jurisdiction up to 80 km. Similarly in Gujarat, the BSF's jurisdiction has been curtailed from 80 to 50 km. In Rajasthan, the BSF's area of jurisdiction will remain the same at 50 km.
Captain Amarinder Singh who had to resign as Punjab chief minister amidst tensions within the Congress has also approved of the Centre's move.
"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," Singh tweeted.
Congress leaders Charanjit Singh Channi, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Om Prakash Soni and Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal have strongly condemned the decision of extending the BSF jursidiction.