Amarinder backs extension of BSF jurisdiction, opposes Punjab Assembly resolution against Centre’s move

The BSF, like the Punjab Police, is our own force and not any external or foreign force coming to occupy our land, Amarinder said in a statement

Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. ANI

Chandigarh: Former chief minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday opposed the resolution adopted by the Punjab Assembly against the Centre’s move to extend the BSF’s jurisdiction, saying the Union government’s decision does not infringes upon the state authority.

The leader said with neighbouring Pakistan using sophisticated technology and improvised drones with a range of as much as 30 km, it is important that the Border Security Force (BSF) gets more operational jurisdiction.

“The BSF like the Punjab Police is our own force and not any external or foreign force coming to occupy our land,” he said in a statement.

The Union government had last month amended the BSF Act to authorise the border guarding force to undertake search, seizure and arrest within a 50 km stretch, up from the existing 15 km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.

The Punjab Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution against the Centre’s notification, calling it an “insult” to the state police and seeking its withdrawal.

“The operational jurisdiction of the BSF concerns national security and not the law and order in the state, which the current powers that be in Punjab are apparently not able to understand,” Amarinder Singh said opposing the resolution.

The state government should not politicise the issue of national security for “petty partisans ends and motives”, he said.

The leader said apart from Punjab, the jurisdiction of the BSF is up to 50 km from the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal.

“Extending the operational jurisdiction of the BSF neither infringes upon the federal authority of the state nor questions the competence of the state police in maintaining law and order as some vested political interests are trying to make out,” Amarinder Singh remarked.

The former chief minister said there is a huge difference between the law and order and national security.

“Unfortunately, people playing up the issue are unable to make out the difference between the law and order and the national security,” he said.

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