West Bengal Assembly adopts resolution against extension of BSF jurisdiction
New Delhi: The West Bengal assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution against the Union government’s decision to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF), even as a remark made by a congressional lawmaker in Trinamool (TMC) was all the rage in the bedroom.
West Bengal is the second state after Punjab to adopt such a resolution. The BSF is widely deployed in the border areas of West Bengal as part of its primary mandate to guard the 4096 km India-Bangladesh international border.
According to the PTI news agency, the resolution was proposed by State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee under Rule 169 of the House Business Procedures.
“We demand that this decision be withdrawn immediately because the strengthening of the BSF’s area of competence is a direct attack on the federal structure of the country,” he said.
Unruly scenes were seen after TMC MP Udayan Guha claimed the BSF’s jaws were touching women “inappropriately” under the guise of body searches.
“We have seen the kind of atrocities that BSF commits on people. A child who has seen his mother inappropriately touched in the search dress, when she returns from the field, can never be a patriot, no matter how many times you chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai” in front of him. These incidents give rise to anti-social elements, ”he said on the floor of the House.
BJP MPs opposed the remark and called for it to be deleted. However, speaker Biman Banerjee refrained from deleting Guha’s comment.
Guha later told reporters that he was simply “telling the truth.”
The OSB dismissed the allegations, saying they are without merit.
Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari opposed the resolution, saying: “When the Union government tries to withdraw the central forces from Junglemahal, it is the state government that opposes it. And now the same government opposes the activities of the BSF. Under this new rule (extension of jurisdiction), there is no question of conflict between the state police and the BSF, ”said Adhikari.
The resolution was adopted with 112 votes in favor and 63 against.
The BJP-led Union government amended the BSF law to allow the force to undertake searches, seizures and arrests over a greater extent of 50 km, instead of 15 km, from the international border from Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
BSF officer rejects allegations
A senior border force officer dismissed Guha’s accusations as “completely unfounded,” according to PTI.
The officer said the paramilitary organization was a professional force that “has always performed mandated tasks in accordance with rules and regulations.”
“BSF Mahila praharis (women officers) are the ones who search women, ”he said.
(With PTI inputs)