Contrary to opposition claims, extension of BSF jurisdiction is good news for India
Imagine that the country is attacked from China or Pakistan and before reaching the border for war, the military must obtain permission from the government of that state through which it must pass. What happens if the state refuses to give permission?
Today, we are trying to create a similar situation in India. The Modi government authorized the Border Security Force (BSF) to conduct searches, arrest suspects and carry out seizures up to a 50 km area inside Indian territory from the international border ( IB) along the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangladesh borders through an ordinance on Wednesday. Surprisingly, the state governments of Punjab and West Bengal began to oppose it and now politics has started politics on BSF.
In most countries, no matter how big the policy, security issues always come first. However, in our country, the exact opposite is happening. What if a government comes to power in a border state that begins to support terrorists for electoral gains? Or start befriending countries like Pakistan to gain minority votes and compromise border security?
Simply put, the extension of BSF’s jurisdiction is linked to national security. But a certain section and parties in our country with sympathy for terrorists are also engaging in politics on this issue.
The central government from time to time decides on the jurisdiction of BSF in border states. And this time, that jurisdiction has been extended to three states – Punjab, Assam and West Bengal.
In Punjab, previously the BSF had the right to operate within a radius of 15 km from the border, but now this range has been extended to 50 km. Likewise, in Assam and West Bengal, this range has now increased from 15 km to 50 km. Of these three states, only Assam has a BJP government. There is the Congressional government in Punjab and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. Perhaps this is the reason why most of the protests are taking place in these two states.
By virtue of article 139 (1) of the BSF law of 1968, the Border Security Force is empowered to arrest within its jurisdiction any person involved or against whom a complaint is lodged. Even the lowest-ranking security force officer can take action under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) without the order and warrant of the magistrate. When BSF’s jurisdiction ends, the responsibility for security falls to the state police. Now suppose a terrorist from Pakistan enters India by infiltrating, but BSF has the power to act only up to 15 km and this terrorist enters India after passing through this area in one night. In such a situation, BSF will not be able to take any action against the terrorist and the whole matter will go to the state government and its police, where there will again be policy on these issues and if there is a government of a party in this state that is sympathetic to terrorists, then nothing will happen to that terrorist.
With the new ordinance, BSF can operate without any restrictions in 7 districts of Punjab, including Amritsar district in Punjab. The total land area of Punjab is approximately 50,000 square kilometers and after this ruling, approximately 21,500 square kilometers of state land will fall under the jurisdiction of BSF. That is, in almost half of the Punjab, the BSF will have more powers than before for action. Likewise, in West Bengal, 9 districts will also be under the tutelage of BSF, including districts like Siliguri, Malda, Murshidabad and Jalpaiguri, from where Pakistani terrorists are trying to enter India. Recently, Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Ashraf, who was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell, entered India from Bangladesh through these districts. But now BSF will be able to take action in more area to stop the infiltration of these terrorists.
This is also the reason for the unrest in the governments of West Bengal and the Punjab. In these states, governments seem more concerned with the minority voice bank than with national security. They fear losing their powers in certain areas, which can be used to gain the sympathy of a certain part of our country.
This question is also linked to the problems of democracy. There are several political parties in our country, which befriends the enemy country in the name of ideology. Terrorists are called extremists and revolutionaries and democracy legalizes it by wrapping it in the blanket of free speech.
BSF is one of India’s five armed police forces, which reports to the Union Home Office and has over 2.5 lakh of soldiers and officers. It is considered the largest border guard force in the world. Over the past 10 years, 144 soldiers from this BSF have brought martyrdom to the country, yet some find it more important to watch it politically.