BSF’s increased jurisdiction shows distrust of Punjab police: Deputy CM

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa proposes a resolution at a special session of the assembly, demanding the withdrawal of the directive from the Center; says the Union Home Office should have consulted the state government

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who holds the interior portfolio, on Thursday presented a resolution demanding the withdrawal of the Union Interior Ministry directive that increases the Force’s jurisdiction 15 km to 50 km border security system (BSF) in the state.

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Randhawa called the Centre’s decision an attack on the federal structure and an expression of distrust of the state police and the people of Punjab. He said the Congressional government led by Charanjit Singh Channi in Punjab will challenge the notification in the high courts of Punjab and Haryana.

The resolution proposed by Randhawa said: “The Punjab is a land of martyrs and brave men. The Punjabis made exemplary sacrifices in the struggle for freedom and later in the wars of 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999 and received awards for bravery. The Punjab Police are a unique patriotic force that has helped maintain the unity and integrity of the country. According to the Constitution, the maintenance of law and order is the responsibility of the state government and, for this purpose, the government of the Punjab is fully competent.

He said: “The decision to extend the jurisdiction of BSF from 15 km to 50 km by the Union government is an expression of mistrust towards the state police and the people of Punjab. It is also their insult. The Union government should have consulted the state government before making such an important decision. The public order situation in Punjab is totally under control. The extension of BSF’s jurisdiction is symbolic of petty politics. All parties in Punjab unanimously condemned the move and called on the Center to withdraw the October 11 ordinance issued by the Indian government’s Interior Ministry. Therefore, Punjab Vidhan Sabha unanimously decides that a resolution rejecting the central government notification in this regard can be passed.

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Thelma J. Longworth