Saturday, October 23, 2021

“Attack On Federalism”: Punjab CM Wants BSF Order Rolled Back

The centre’s reported move to empower the Border Security Force (BSF) to carry out searches and arrests over a wider belt along the borders of three states has provoked a huge controversy in Punjab, with Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, targeted by his own Congress colleagues, calling it a “direct attack on federalism”.

According to a Home Ministry order, the BSF’s jurisdiction in the border states of West Bengal, Punjab and Assam will be expanded up to 50 km from the boundary. The order suggests that the central force can arrest and carry out searches and seizures over a region where its powers could clash with those of the state police in Punjab’s Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Pathankot. The Golden Temple in Amritsar, for example, is around 35 km from the Wagah border with Pakistan.

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“I strongly condemn the government’s unilateral decision to give additional powers to BSF within 50 km belt running along the international borders, which is a direct attack on the federalism. I urge the Union Home Minister Amit Shah to immediately roll back this irrational decision,” the Punjab Chief Minister tweeted amid a massive backlash in the state.

The centre’s reported move to empower the Border Security Force (BSF) to carry out searches and arrests over a wider belt in three border states has provoked a huge controversy in Punjab, with Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, targeted by his own Congress colleagues, calling it a “direct attack on federalism”.

According to a Home Ministry order, the BSF’s jurisdiction in the border states of West Bengal, Punjab and Assam will be expanded up to 50 km from the boundary, up from the current 15 km. The order suggests that the central force can arrest and carry out searches and seizures over a region where its powers could clash with those of the state police in Punjab’s Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Pathankot. The Golden Temple in Amritsar, for example, is around 35 km from the Wagah border with Pakistan.

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“I strongly condemn the government’s unilateral decision to give additional powers to BSF within 50 km belt running along the international borders, which is a direct attack on the federalism. I urge the Union Home Minister Amit Shah to immediately roll back this irrational decision,” the Punjab Chief Minister tweeted amid a massive backlash in the state.

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