The Central Government has increased the scope of the powers of the Border Security Force (BSF). In Punjab and Bengal, the BSF could operate within 15 km in the Indian territory adjoining the Pakistani border, but now this range has been increased to 50 km. The fight to give more powers to BSF has started, that is, there is a protest. Punjab and West Bengal have opposed this decision of the Centre. While Assam is welcoming this decision, why, and what will change from it, let us know.
How much power on the borders of which state?
The responsibility of guarding the Pakistan and Bangladesh border is on the BSF, but now it is also being used in policing. In Assam, West Bengal and Punjab, the three states that share international borders, the BSF has been given the power to arrest, search and seize an area up to 50 km within the border. Earlier this range was 15 kms. Pakistan also shares its border with Gujarat, but here the range of BSF has been reduced from 80 km to 50 km. At the same time, in Rajasthan it remains up to 50 km. The Union Home Ministry has issued its notification on October 11. About 2.65 lakh BSF personnel guard the border with Pakistan and Bangladesh on more than 6 thousand 300 Indian fronts. Its effect will be on the 5 states adjacent to the borders – Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam. Now BSF will be able to take any action on the International Border up to 50 km inside Indian territory. The BSF will have powers from arresting suspects to seizing material and conducting searches. Not only this, now in all these states, BSF will have the right to act within a radius of 50-50 km, but earlier it was 80 km in Gujarat, 50 km in Rajasthan and 15 km in Punjab, Assam and Bengal.
Where is the opposition?
The Union Home Ministry and the opposition leaders have their own arguments. The current officers and retired officers of BSF do not consider this decree to be correct. They say that this politics will blunt the edge of BSF. The risk in the new duty is too high. The Border Guard Force is not aware of the policing system. There is no training either. For the duty of policing, the force will have to increase its intelligence system. For this, additional budget, manpower and technical resources will have to be mobilized. Clashes with the local police will increase. Not only this, BSF also has to be prepared to take the risk of being splattered by corruption in the line of duty. The BSF has welcomed the decision of the Center and issued a statement saying that it will help the BSF in curbing cross-border crimes. On the other hand, a top BSF official was not ready to speak on this issue at first, but later on the condition of anonymity, he said, this is a political move. The decision has been taken in haste. Challenges are increasing on the Pakistan and Bangladesh border. In such a situation, why is the attention of BSF being diverted to some other side. Political motives and border guards are no match for each other. A trained force is being deliberately put at risk in the area of the Border Guard. Policing and border guarding are two different concepts. Separating a force from its original function will not yield good results.
What is the problem with Punjab, West Bengal?
The biggest opposition to this decision of the Center is happening in Punjab and West Bengal. Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, a minister in the Bengal government, Farhad Hakim, termed the decision as an attack on the federal structure. Punjab CM Channi said, the decision to give additional powers to BSF is irrational and a direct attack on the federal structure. I request Home Minister Amit Shah to withdraw this decision. At the same time, the Trinamool government in Bengal has strongly objected to giving additional powers to the BSF within a radius of 50 km. Minister Farhad Hakim has said that the Modi government is breaking the federal structure. 15 kms was a lot. But the Modi government wants to capture everything by increasing it. He said that the Center should have taken this decision in consultation with the state government. At the same time, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also objected to this and said that this is interference and encroachment of the Center in the rights of the states.