Row intensifies on extension of BSF jurisdiction in three border states - The Daily Guardian
Connect with us

News

Row intensifies on extension of BSF jurisdiction in three border states

Punjab, West Bengal oppose Centre’s move. Assam welcomes it.

Published

on

The move by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to extend the area of jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) with a fresh order in the states of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, has triggered a major showdown between the Centre and Punjab and West Bengal. Assam, however, has welcomed the decision.

The BSF, which was empowered to take action only up to 15 km in the states of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, has now been authorised to spread its jurisdiction up to 50 km without any hurdle or further permission either from the Central or state governments. The move is aimed at maintaining “zero tolerance” against terrorism and cross border crimes, with the Centre empowering the 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 MHA move has triggered a huge political slugfest, with the Punjab Congress alleging that the BJP is destroying the federal structure of the country, and West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) terming the move as “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.

However, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday welcomed the extension of the BSF’s operational jurisdiction in coordination with the state police and said that the move will serve as a “deterrent” for illegal infiltration. “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,” said the Chief Minister.

However, a report from Chandigarh quoted Congress’ Punjab leaders, Pargat Singh and Vijay Inder Singh as saying that the Centre’s decision to extend the BSF’s jurisdiction over a wide area in three states, including Punjab, is an attack on the federal structure of India. “BJP is trying to take away the rights of the states. They should not do this; they should not destroy federal structure… Punjabis have always stood together whether it was the freedom struggle or farmers’ protest. We will fight against this too,” said Vijay Inder Singh. On the issue of drugs being supplied from across the border as one of the reasons for the BSF’s increased jurisdiction order, Pargat Singh said, “The Punjab Police, Chief Minister and Home Minister are competent enough to deal with the problem. I accept there are some black sheep who need to be identified.” Slamming BJP and former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, Pargat Singh further said, “I’ve always said Captain is with BJP only. Earlier he went to Delhi to delay paddy procurement and now this… If you’re deploying BSF in Punjab, it shows your motive is to impose Governor’s rule.”

Earlier on Thursday, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi also condemned the Centre’s decision and said that it is a “direct attack on federalism”. “I strongly condemn the GoI’s unilateral decision to give additional powers to BSF within the 50 km belt running along the international borders, which is a direct attack on federalism. I urge Union Home Minister Amit Shah to immediately roll back this irrational decision,” tweeted Channi.

As per the new MHA order, while the BSF’s jurisdiction in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam has now been extended up to 50 km without any hurdle or further permission either from Central or State governments, the BSF 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. An officer of the rank corresponding to that of the lowest rank of member of the BSF is now empowered under the CrPC to exercise and discharge the powers and duties without an order from a magistrate and without a warrant.

The officer is now empowered to arrest any person who has been concerned in any cognizable offence, or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received. A BSF officer has now been given the power to conduct a search of a place entered by a person sought to be arrested in its new area of jurisdiction.

“The whole of the area comprised in the states of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya and Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and so much of the area comprised within a belt of fifty kilometres in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, running along the borders of India,” the order issued in the Gazette notification on 11 October mentions.

The Home Ministry took the decision “in the exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 139 of the Border Security Force Act, 1968 (47 of 1968)” making amendments in the notification of the Central government published in the Gazette of India on July 3, 2014.”

While coming down heavily on the Central government for extending the BSF’s jurisdiction in West Bengal, Punjab, and Assam from 15 km to 50 km, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders have described the move as “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.

Condemning the move, a senior TMC leader and the chairman of North Bengal Development Board (NBDB), Rabindranath Ghosh, said, “The extension of BSF’s jurisdiction by the Union Home Ministry will lead to a standoff between the Central force and the local administration in the bordering area. I believe that the decision taken by the Central government is unconstitutional, illegal and an attempt to crush the democratic set-up of our country.”

“We have police stations, state police and administration to take care of illegal activities and to maintain law and order situation. Increasing the jurisdiction of the BSF clearly shows too much interference of the Central government in the state’s affairs,” he said. West Bengal shares international boundaries with Bangladesh. The state has 2, 217 km-long border with Bangladesh.

TMC state general secretary and spokesperson Kunal Ghosh tweeted, “The manner in which the Union Home Ministry extended the jurisdiction of BSF from 15 km to 50 km along the border area is highly objectionable. This is an attempt to interfere in the state’s affair with an intention to destabilise the elected government through the back door. The state government is looking into the matter and it will respond appropriately at the right time.” TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy claimed that the state government will respond to the matter soon.

Meanwhile, a report from Baharampur, West Bengal, quoted the leader of the Indian National Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Chowdhury, on Thursday as slamming the Centre’s move, stating that it is a “brazen infringement upon the territory of states”. Targeting the Union Home Minister, Chowdhury said, “You should not indulge in any ‘chherkhani’, else will face the consequences.”

The Daily Guardian is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@thedailyguardian) and stay updated with the latest headlines.

For the latest news Download The Daily Guardian App.

News

PUNJAB AGRICULTURE MINISTER CALLS ON MANDAVIYA ON DAP CRISIS

Published

on

On the intervention of Punjab`s Minister for Agriculture, Farmers` Welfare and Food Processing Randeep Singh Nabha on DAP shortage crisis, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday assured to supply 10 rakes of DAP (Diammonium Phosphate), 5 rakes of NPK (Complex Fertilizer) and 2 of SSP (Single Super Phosphate) within three to four days to Punjab. Considering Punjab`s demand Union Minister also assured for adequate supply of Urea to Punjab in the coming November and December.

Punjab Agriculture Minister, who called upon Mandaviya at latter`s office here, informed the Union Minister that the total requirement of DAP for rabi crops is 5.50 lakh MT, out of which 4.80 lakh MT is required during October & November for timely sowing of wheat crop. DAP is an essential input for ensuring optimum productivity of wheat, which is sown on an area of about 35.00 lakh hectares in Punjab.

“We apprised the Union Minister that the Punjab, known as food bowl of the nation, is being allocated much lesser quantity of DAP in comparison to Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. We have been writing the union government for last six months on this sensitive issue. We also informed the Union Minister that shortage of DAP on the onset of Rabi season can lead farmers` unrest“ said Nabha expressing hope that the Union government would stand by its commitment of supplying DAP.

After the meeting, Nabha revealed that Union Minister has said that the shortage of DAP was due to non-availability of the fertilizers in the international market and the union government would ensure adequate supply of DAP to Punjab.

“During the meeting we also demanded that the Union Government must repeal the farm laws against which the farmers are protesting for last one year. The farmers are feeling insecure as they argue that with these farmer laws the big Corporate would get away their farm lands,” said Nabha.

Continue Reading

News

BJP MP wants more central forces’ deployment for West Bengal bypolls

Published

on

Emphasising the need for free and fair polling in the upcoming by-elections, BJP MP Arjun Singh on Tuesday urged Chief Election Officer of the state to allot more security personnel for bypolls in four constituencies, which is scheduled to be held on October 30.

In the letter, Arjun Singh said, “As you are aware the spate of post-poll violence, which started from the day of counting after the General Election still continues.

The High court also took cognizance of the situation and ordered a CBI probe in the case.” He also mentioned that the “TMC goons” attacked the party candidates – Joy Saha from Khardah and Ashok Mandal from Dinhata – while they were doing door-to-door campaign in their respective constituencies.

Requesting to deploy more security personnel in the constituencies, Singh wrote, “In this context, we repeat our request made earlier for immediate allotment of Central Security cover for our candidates as we have no reliance on the West Bengal Police.”

The MP requested the CEO to deploy 30 companies of CAPF per constituency to ensure free and fair polls on October 30.

Requesting to deploy more security personnel in the constituencies, Singh wrote, “In this context, we repeat our request made earlier for immediate allotment of Central Security cover for our candidates as we have no reliance on the West Bengal Police.”

Continue Reading

News

SUKHBIR SINGH BADAL NAMES 4 MORE PARTY CANDIDATES FOR 2022 POLLS

Published

on

The Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday announced 4 more candidates of the party for coming 2022 Assembly election. SAD Senior Vice President Dr Daljit Singh Cheema disclosed that Baldev Singh Mann will be party candidate from Sunam, Bhai Gobind Singh Longowal from Lehra, Harpal Juneja from Patiala Urban & Hardev Singh Megh (Gobindgarh) from Balluana assembly seat. He said that with this announcement, now the party has so far announced 74 candidates.

Meanwhile, Punjab assembly speaker Rana K P Singh has accepted the resignation of MLA Bholath, Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday. Due to this Bholath assembly constituency has been declared vacant according to a notification of Punjab assembly. On this Khaira said, “I had resigned as MLA on 3rd June before joining Congress. Thereafter the Speaker asked me to submit resignation in a proper format , which I did today in person. My resignation has been accepted.” It may be noted that Khaira had won from Bholath in 2017 assembly election as AAP candidate and recently joined Congress.

Continue Reading

News

SWASTH HARYANA APP TO CUT LONG QUEUES AT HOSPITALS

Published

on

The Haryana government has launched a string of new applications have been launched by the government recently. Several new applications were brought into existence for the better and fair administration as well as for the benefits of commoners.

In this series, a new app namely Swasth Haryana by Anil Vij, state Health Minister for needy people visiting the government health institutions for the treatment. New app will get rid of long queues as they can get themselves registered on the app before going to hospitals. Vij said: “Through this app, patients can get themselves registered at any Civil Hospital of the State and the app is also available on Google Play Store.”

Further, he said that the government is consistently working to contain the spread of Covid and to augment it further, the Haryana State Health Systems Resource Centre (HSHRC) has developed “Swasth Haryana’’. Mobile app. It is pertinent to mention that it is being considered a milestone as the premier health institute like PGIMER, Chandigarh is providing the facility to the local as well the patients coming from neighbouring states.

Vij added that now the patients can get themselves registered in advance before going to the hospital through this app. while sitting at home and thus the rush of people at the State Hospitals can be managed in a systematic manner. He stated that with this app, the patient can directly go to the specialist doctor and no longer does he need to stand in long queues.

Continue Reading

News

PUNJAB DY CM SMELLS CONSPIRACY IN SINGHU LYNCHING, PROMISES JUSTICE

Published

on

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Tuesday said that there appeared to be a deep rooted conspiracy to defame the farmers’ stir. Referring to the recent incident of lynching of a SC labourer from Tarn Taran, and latest disclosures in media, the Deputy Chief Minister, who also heads the Home Department, promised complete justice saying the government will reach to the bottom of the case and identify and expose as who were the conspirators behind the incident.

Randhawa said, in view of the recent disclosures about one of the Nihang leaders having already been in touch with the Union Minister for Agriculture NS Tomar in particular, the lynching incident has now taken an entirely different turn. The same Nihang leader is now defending the main accused for the killing of Lakhbir Singh, he added.

“Lakhbir Singh, the victim belonged to village Cheema Kalan and was very poor. We need to find out as who lured him to Singhu border and who paid for his travel as he could not even afford his meals”, the Deputy Chief Minister observed, while adding that he had instructed the local administration to find out under what circumstances he was taken away from his home in Cheema Kalan village to Singhu border.

Randhawa said, in view of the recent photographic evidence available, the Nihang leader will also need to explain as in what capacity he had met the union agriculture minister NS Tomar and whether he was mandated to do so by the farmers’ organisations spearheading the campaign against three farm laws.

The Deputy Chief Minister said, given the important place the Nihang leader was camping at and staging dharna at Singhu Border, it was mandatory on his part to keep the farmers’ unions informed and updated about his meetings with the union minister. “This has raised genuine doubts and suspicion among the minds of people which will need to be cleared and the Punjab government will do everything to reach to the root of the conspiracy and expose and punish the culprits,” he promised.

Continue Reading

News

‘Centre’s move to extend BSF jurisdiction will harm Punjab’s economy’

Published

on

Standing at the front against the Union Government’s decision to extend BSF jurisdiction in Punjab, Cabinet Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh, on Tuesday said that the border state has been ignored while granting special package of incentives to neighboring states like Himachal Pradesh for capital investment subsidy and now the extension of BSF Jurisdiction from 15 km to 50 km is yet another jolt to Punjab. It has created a panic and a sense of insecurity in investors, he added saying that how the investor shall go to the 25,000 sq. km border belt (out of a total of 50,000) which is under the jurisdiction of the Security Force Rana asked. Even the adjoining industrial units of Home Grown Industries would consider shifting to safer places, Rana said.

Lashing out at the Modi Government he said that while it was giving step-motherly treatment to the Punjab, on the other side, jurisdiction has been cut short by 20 km in 5 north eastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya where it has had jurisdiction of 80 km. In Gujarat, it has been curtailed from 80 to 50. There should be a level playground and such imbalance would even hit trade, commerce and industry in the land-locked states, besides creating tiffs between central and state agencies, Rana said.

Agriculture sector especially in the Border area is already under stress and extension of the BSF jurisdiction will further add to their difficulties, said the Cabinet Minister. Urging the union government to make the agriculture sector sustainable there, liberal incentives need to be given, he said. He suggested that 90% subsidies should be given to the farmers of the Border Area under the central schemes for drip irrigation system.

Rana said there was a dire need to reconsider the jurisdiction issue in concurrence with the state and grant special incentives at par with North Eastern States. The first step in this direction would be to constitute a Western Border States Advisory Council having Chief Ministers/Governor of the states as members under the Chairmanship of Union Home Minister on the pattern of North East Council to deliberate the issue of creating of a dedicated Corpus Fund pooled through a mandatory contribution from all the Union Ministries in the Union Budget, he added.

The Cabinet Minister assured that he would request Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to convene a one day session of the Vidhan Sabha to pass a resolution and to take up the matter with the Union Government to reconsider the BSF jurisdiction extension and lead a delegation of all the stakeholders for a meeting with Prime Minister Modi.

Continue Reading

Trending