The central government has increased the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force to act inside many border states. States are opposing this and calling it an encroachment on their rights. Under a new order by the Union Home Ministry, the Border Security Force (BSF) has extended the jurisdiction to conduct searches and arrests in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam. Is. Where earlier these powers of BSF were limited to 15 kms within the state border, now they have been increased to 50 kms. Apart from these, the jurisdiction of BSF in Gujarat has been reduced from 80 kms to 50 kms. In Rajasthan, it has been retained for 50 km as before. The BSF’s jurisdiction over the entire area of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya has been retained as before. To curb terror and smuggling, BSF will be able to conduct searches and arrests anywhere in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. No official statement has been issued by the BSF or the central government on these new orders, but in many media reports, sources have been told that they are aimed at increasing the efficiency of the BSF. It is being claimed that the purpose of these changes in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir is to stop terrorist attacks and supply of drugs and weapons through drones coming from across the border.
The aim is also to prevent smuggling and illegal migration of cattle and illicit currency in Assam and West Bengal. Particularly in Punjab, opposition to this new order is being seen. Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi strongly condemned it, calling it a “direct attack” on the federal structure. He has appealed to the central government to withdraw this order. Apart from him, many other Congress leaders in Punjab have opposed the new order. However, former Congress president in Punjab Sunil Jakhar himself blamed Channi for this and criticized him. The BSF is one of the five armed police forces in India, but it is the only force to have its own water and air capabilities and also an artillery regiment. It comes under the Union Home Ministry. It has more than 2,50,000 soldiers and officers and is also considered to be the largest border guarding force in the world.