Trinamool Congress slammed the Centre for extending the jurisdiction of BSF. It said that it was an “infringement” of state rights and an attack on the federal structure.
The Centre amended the BSF Act so that the force can search, seize and arrest within 50 km of the international border in Punjab and West Bengal.
TMC demanded its withdrawal and claimed that the decision was made without consulting West Bengal government.
“We reject this decision. This is a violation of the rights and privileges of the state. Why did the BSF suddenly need to expand its jurisdiction without informing state government? TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.
“If the BSF needs to do any search, they will be able to do it with the state police. This has been the norm for many years. He said that it was an attack on federal structures.
Sougata, a senior TMC MP, claimed that the BSF has a poor track record in human rights in border villages.
“The Centre and Home Minister Amit Sharma are trying to weaken states. He said that the BSF has not had a great track record in human rights at border villages.
Adhir Chowdhury, president of the State Congress, warned the Union Home Ministry about the “consequences” of his decision.
“The brazen infringement of the state’s territory by expanding #BSF’s jurisdiction area to 50km from some states borders amounts to brazen invasion.” He tweeted that @HMOIndia (Home Ministry) should not allow any “Chherkhani” (meddling). Otherwise, he would face the consequences.
TMC was criticized by the state BJP, who claimed that opposition to the changes was aimed at appeasing its voter bank.
“The TMC government failed to stop cross-border infiltration or smuggling. “The opposition to the TMC is designed to appease its vote bank,” stated Sayantan Basu (the BJP’s state secretary).
On October 11, the Union Home Ministry issued a notice in this context, amending a July 2014 provision that allowed BSF officers and personnel to operate in border areas.
Officials from BSF said that the amendment will assist them in curbing trans-border crime and bring about “uniformity.” It can now operate within 50km of the border in Punjab, West Bengal Gujarat, Rajasthan, Assam and Gujarat.
Gujarat, which shares a border with Pakistan, has the same limit reduced to 50 km from 80 km. Rajasthan has it kept at 50 km.