Other States

Bengal Assembly passes resolution against BSF jurisdiction

The West Bengal Legislative Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution demanding the withdrawal of the notification by the Ministry of Home Affairs extending the territorial jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) from 15 km 50 km along the international border.

The resolution was passed with 112 Trinamool Congress MLAs voting for it and 63 of the BJP voting against it. It was moved by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Partha Chatterjee under rule 169 of conduct of business of the House.

The resolution said the House believed that increasing the jurisdiction of the BSF was against the federal structure of the country, as law and order is a State subject. It stated that the notification exceeded the provision of the BSF Act and that it would lead to coordination issues between the State police and the BSF.


Noisy scenes in House

There were noisy scenes in the Assembly as BJP members took exception to the remarks made by TMC’s Udayan Guha. Mr. Guha, who represents Dinhata in Cooch Behar district, alleged that BSF personnel were indulging in excesses on the border population, particularly women.

Opposing the resolution, Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari wanted the jurisdiction of the BSF increased to 80 km. He alleged that Rohingya had entered the State and terrorists were mushrooming. He sought to know the outcome of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s letter to the Prime Minister on the issue and also what transpired between the meeting of Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and State officials last week.

Minister Partha Chatterjee observed that the territorial jurisdiction of the BSF had been increased without any consultation with the State and it would curb the police’s powers. “If the notification is implemented, then 11 districts and 37 % of territory of the State will pass under the hands of the Centre ,” the Minister later told journalists.

Opposition by all non-BJP parties

Not only the Trinamool Congress but all the non-BJP parties have opposed the move to increase the BSF’s jurisdiction. On Monday, Left Front chairperson Biman Bose, in a letter to the Chief Minister, described the notification as something against the federal structure and urged her to oppose it. State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has also opposed the notification.

Last week, a similar resolution was passed by the Punjab Assembly on the issue.

BJP demands CM’s response

Earlier in the day, Mr. Adhikari demanded a response from the Chief Minister on the law and order situation. He alleged that two BJP supporters were killed in the past few days.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 9:42:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bengal-assembly-passes-resolution-against-bsf-jurisdiction/article37520397.ece

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