The Union Home Ministry has taken a big decision regarding the Border Security Force (BSF) on Wednesday. Now the officers have been given the powers of arrest, search and seizure, increasing the jurisdiction of the BSF. This right has been given to the BSF within 50 km of the international border between India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh. In simple words, now BSF can arrest and search within this jurisdiction even without the order and warrant of the magistrate.
The new order of the Ministry of Home Affairs is expected to create a political controversy. In fact, till now the BASF had the right to search and arrest within a radius of 15 km in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, which has now been increased to 50 km.
In Gujarat, however, the BSF’s jurisdiction has been reduced and the border has been expanded from 80 km to 50 km, while in Rajasthan, the range has been kept at 50 km as before. For the five northeastern states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur, this range has been reduced from 80 to 20 km.
BSF is entrusted with the security of 4096.7 kms between India-Bangladesh, 3323 kms of border between India-Pakistan. Apart from this, the BSF also has the responsibility of cracking down on Maoists present in Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Powers of the BSF Section 139 of the Border Security Force Act, 1968 empowers the Center to notify from time to time the area and extent of operations of the Border Security Force.