According to an order of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the jurisdiction of the BSF in West Bengal, Punjab and Assam will be increased from 15 km to 50 km within and along the border. After this order, the BSF can arrest, search and seizure in the area by suppressing the powers of the state police in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Pathankot. The Golden Temple is about 35 km from the Attari border with Pakistan.
Reacting to the decision, the Punjab Chief Minister tweeted, “I strongly condemn the unilateral decision of the government to give additional powers to BSF within 50 km of international borders, which is a direct attack on federalism. . I urge Union Home Minister Amit Shah to immediately withdraw this irrational decision.”
Punjab Home Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa said, “We condemn this decision. It is a violation of federal structure and will create an atmosphere of fear in Punjab. People will not tolerate it.” Randhawa said, “Punjab has never witnessed communal violence. We urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to disturb the peace of the state.”
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar hit out at the chief minister over the home ministry’s order, just a week after his meeting with Amit Shah called for sealing of the international border to check smuggling of drugs and weapons.
Jakhar tweeted, “Be careful with your demand! Did Charanjit Channi unknowingly manage to hand over half of Punjab’s share to the central government? 25,000 sq km (out of total 50,000 sq km) now under BSF’s jurisdiction Do we still want more autonomy to the states?”
Be careful what you ask for ! Has @CHARANJITCHANNI unwittingly managed to handover half of Punjab to Central govt. 25000sq km (out of total 50,000sq km) has now been placed under BSF jurisdiction. Punjab Police stands castigated. Do we still want more autonomy to States ? https://t.co/JlGB7G0Pnj
— Sunil Jakhar (@sunilkjakhar) October 13, 2021
Sukhjinder Randhawa said that the Chief Minister never asked for it. Randhawa commented, “He just appealed to check and seal the supply of drugs and weapons across the border. Both Jakhar-sahib and I are residents of a border area, they should not have tweeted this. “
Captain Amarinder Singh tweeted, “Our soldiers are being killed in Kashmir. We see more and more weapons and drugs being pushed into Punjab by Pakistan-backed terrorists. Only the increased BSF presence and powers will make us stronger. Central Don’t drag the armed forces into politics.” The captain tweeted.
‘Our soldiers are being killed in Kashmir. We’re seeing more & more weapons & drugs being pushed by Pak-backed terrorists into Punjab. BSF’s enhanced presence & powers will only make us stronger. Let’s not drag central armed forces into politics’: capt_amarinder 1/2
(File pic) pic.twitter.com/nu4DhAQnAz
— Raveen Thukral (@RT_Media_Capt) October 13, 2021
Congress’ Manish Tewari tweeted that the Centre’s move allows it to “institutionalise an alternative policing paradigm”, calling on the Punjab chief minister to oppose it.
Mischievous part of Section 139 of BSF Act
“…or of any cognizable offense punishable under any other Central Act; or punishable under any other Central Act..’
It allows GOI to institutionalize an alternative policing paradigm. Was Punjab Govt consulted?https://t.co/aGj5reAfRFhttps://t.co/Y5fHKQtuNj
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) October 13, 2021
Let us tell you that the Congress has not yet recovered from its old problem. An angry Navjot Sidhu has not yet withdrawn his resignation and will meet senior party leaders tomorrow. They are unhappy with the choice of a new chief minister for key positions such as attorney general, police chief and ministers.