Criticizing the Center for its decision to extend the jurisdiction of the BSF, Trinamool Congress said Thursday it was an “infringement” of state rights and an attack on the structure federal government.
The Center amended the BSF law to allow the force to undertake searches, seizures and arrests in a larger 50 km stretch, instead of the existing 15 km, from the international border of Punjab, West Bengal and of Assam.
Demanding its withdrawal, the TMC said the decision was taken without consulting the West Bengal government.
“We oppose this decision. It is an infringement of the rights of the State. What was the sudden need to increase the jurisdiction of the BSF without notifying the state government? TMC spokesman Kunal Ghosh said.
“If the BSF needs to do research, they can always do it with the state police. It has been the practice for years. It is an attack on the federal structure,” he added.
TMC MP Sougata Roy said the BSF does not have a good track record of human rights in border villages.
“The Center and Interior Minister Amit Shah are trying to weaken states. BSF does not have a good track record of human rights in border villages,” he said.
State Congress President Adhir Chowdhury has warned the Union Home Office of the “consequences” of the move.
“Extending #BSF’s area of jurisdiction up to 50 km from the border of certain states is tantamount to a brazen offense in state territory. @HMOIndia (Home Office), you should not indulge in no ‘Chherkhani’ (interference) that you will face the consequences, ”he said in a tweet.
The BJP state has slammed the TMC for its criticism, saying its opposition to the changes was aimed at appeasing its vote bank.
“The TMC government has failed to control cross-border infiltration and smuggling. TMC opposition aims to appease its vote bank,” said Sayantan Basu, state secretary general of the BJP.
The Union Home Office issued a notification in this context on October 11, amending a July 2014 enabling provision for BSF staff and officers when operating in border areas.
BSF officials said the amendment would help them effectively tackle cross-border crimes and that the new amendment brings “uniformity” to its operations in the border states of Punjab, West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan and of Assam, where it can now operate within a radius of 50 km. border area.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by DAILYNEWSCATCH staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)