Chandigarh (Punjab): Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said that Border Security Force's (BSF) operational jurisdiction concerns national security and it should not be politicised.
In a series of tweets, he said that extending the operational jurisdiction of BSF does not infringe upon the federal authority of Punjab.
"Extending operational jurisdiction of BSF neither infringes upon the federal authority of Punjab nor questions competence of state police in maintaining law and order, as some vested political interests are trying to make out. It concerns national security; must not be politicised," Singh said.
"Unfortunately people playing up the issue are unable to make out the difference between law and order and national security. BSF like Punjab Police is our own force and not an external or foreign army coming to occupy our land," he added.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Thursday moved a resolution in Vidhan Sabha's special session, demanding the withdrawal of the Union Home Ministry's directive that increases the Border Security Force's (BSF) jurisdiction from 15km to 50km in the state.
Randhawa said that the decision of extending the jurisdiction of BSF is an expression of distrust towards the State Police and the People of Punjab.
The Centre had earlier in October empowered the Border Security Force (BSF) to conduct searches, arrest suspects and make seizures up to an area of 50 km inside Indian territory from the International Border (IB) along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders.
The BSF, which was only empowered to take action up to fifteen kilometers in the states of Punjab, West Bengal, and Assam, has now been authorised to extend its jurisdiction up to 50 km without any hurdle or permission either from central or state governments.
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.
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