Parties want roll back of Centre’s move to extend BSF jurisdiction in Punjab, will move SC: Charanjit Channi

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Updated: October 25, 2021 5:47 PM

The Centre’s decision to extend the jurisdiction of BSF from the existing 15 km to 50 km from the International Border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam has riled all major parties in the state.

The Centre’s decision to extend the jurisdiction of BSF from the existing 15 km to 50 km from the International Border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam has riled all major parties in the state.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday said that all the parties in Punjab have unanimously passed a resolution demanding the withdrawal of the Centre’s move to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force.

“All parties unanimously passed a resolution that this notification be rolled back (by Central Govt). If the Govt doesn’t do it, parties decided that, a session of Vidhan Sabha be called over this,” said Channi.

“As this is a matter related to Punjab & Punjabis, law and order is a state subject and it’s like a raid on our rights in the federal structure, all political parties in Punjab will come together in the fight to make Centre withdraw the notification,” he added.

The remarks came after an all-party meeting convened by Channi to to deliberate on issue of jurisdiction of the BSF in Punjab. The Congress was represented by PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu while AAP was represented by state unit president Bhagwant Mann and Sunam MLA Aman Kumar Arora. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal has deputed former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra and former minister Daljit Singh Cheema.

Speaking on the issue, Sidhu accused the Centre of “weakening the federal structure by creating a state within a state”. He also slammed the government for “disregarding the democratic rights of the people of Punjab” with extending the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF), and expressed fear of “torture, false cases, arbitrary detention and illegal arrests” in the state.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also criticised the move alleging that it is an attempt to interfere into the federal structure of the country. She, however, said the state has no problems in the border areas.

“About the BSF matter, we have sent a letter protesting the move. Earlier, they had jurisdiction of 15 km, there were incidents of firing in Balurghat or Cooch Behar. Now, they extended it to 50 km. This is an attempt to interfere into the federal structure of the country,” Banerjee said.

“We do not have problems in the border areas and share very cordial relations (with neighbouring countries). There is no need to create this confusion. Law and order is a state subject. BSF must look after what they are responsible for and we will have total support for that,” she said.

The Union home ministry’s decision to extend the jurisdiction of BSF from the existing 15 km to 50 km from the International Border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam has riled all major parties in the state.

Earlier, Chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi vehemently criticised the extension, declaring that his government will not accept the decision as “it is against the spirit of federalism”. He later also sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to “relook and restore” the status quo that existed before the October 11 notification regarding BSF’s jurisdiction.

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