BSF jurisdiction: parties in Punjab oppose Centre’s decision

Centre’s move in the interest of country, says BJP which skipped all-party meet

October 26, 2021 01:04 am | Updated September 27, 2023 11:41 pm IST - CHANDIGARH

BSF personnel patrolling near the Zero Line at the India-Pakistan border, Ferozepur, in Punjab.

BSF personnel patrolling near the Zero Line at the India-Pakistan border, Ferozepur, in Punjab.

At an all-party meeting convened by Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday, the Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party passed a resolution against the Centre’s decision on enhancing the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF).

The BJP, however, boycotted the meeting asserting the decision is in the interest of the country.

The meeting resolved to oppose the decision legally and politically and fight for the position which existed before the notification of October 11, 2021.

Special session

Mr. Channi said the State Government would soon convene a special session of the Assembly on the issue. It would also file a petition in the Supreme Court against the Centre’s unilateral decision which he said amounts to infringement on the States’ constitutional rights and is against the spirit of federalism.

On the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s three farm laws, he said they would be outrightly rejected in the forthcoming session of the Assembly.

Will meet PM

After detailed discussions, the political parties decided to seek an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi so that the Chief Minister could lead a delegation to urge him to review the decision on the BSF and withdraw the contentious notification.

The SAD (Sanyukt), the SAD (Amritsar), the CPI(M), the CPI, the Trinamool Congress and the Lok Insaf Party also took part in the meeting.

Senior BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia said here at a press conference that the NDA government has extended the area of operation of the BSF in the country’s interest.

“The extension of the area of operation of the BSF is necessary due to the use of advanced technologies in illegal activities from across the border. In Punjab’s border belt, drones with GPS coordinates from Pakistan are the new unseen enemy that keeps the security forces on their toes. Enhancement of the BSF’s jurisdiction does not curtail the Punjab police jurisdiction,” he said.

‘No attack’

“The sole aim of the notification is to improve the operational efficiency of the BSF. After a suspect has been detained or a consignment seized within the specified area, the BSF can only conduct “preliminary questioning” and must hand over the suspect to the Punjab police in 24 hours. The BSF does not have the powers to prosecute crime suspects. Thus, it is going to complement and supplement the efforts of the Punjab police. The local police can also act within the jurisdiction of the BSF. Hence, there is no attack on the federal structure,” Mr. Kalia added.

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