Will Move Supreme Court Against Centre’s BSF Jurisdiction Expansion: Punjab CM
CM Channi also said that the state government will try to pass a resolution against the Centre’s BSF notification.
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday, 25 October, announced that the state government will approach the Supreme Court against the Centre's recent move to expand jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) from 15 km to 50 km from the international border in Punjab.
Speaking after an all-party meeting on the issue, Channi, calling the notification an “infringement on federalism”, said that the state government will try to pass a resolution against the Centre’s notification by convening a session of the state assembly.
Channi added, "Political parties will hold agitations against the extension of BSF jurisdiction in Punjab. We will also approach the Supreme Court seeking justice in this matter. A session of Punjab Assembly will be convened in the next 10-15 days to pass resolutions against the central government's notification and against the three farm laws."
The all-party meeting included the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), represented by Bhagwant Mann and Aman Arora, and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), represented by Daljit Cheema and Chandumajra, Hindustan Times reported.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Punjab unit boycotted the meeting pointing out that there is no conflict between the BSF and the state police.
BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia was quoted as saying, "BSF is a concurrent list subject. Along with the BSF, the Punjab Police can also carry out searches and register cases. The drones are used to smuggle weapons and drugs and to stop these illegal activities, the jurisdiction of BSF has been widened."
As per the notification, the BSF will now have the power to arrest, search, and seizure to the extent of 50 km inside three new states - West Bengal, Punjab, and Assam - sharing international boundaries with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
‘A State Within A State’: Navjot Singh Sidhu
Meanwhile, Congress state chief Navjot Singh Sidhu accused the union government of weakening the federal structure by "creating a state within a state", NDTV reported.
Accusing the Centre of "substituting" the state police instead of creating coordination between the state police and the BSF, Sidhu said, "It's a political game. I am questioning the timing of the decision. Where is the state's consent?”
Sidhu also alleged that the BSF "daily violated" the constitutional provision of the country in the name of security in West Bengal and was further quoted as saying, "there is a possibility that instances of torture, false cases, arbitrary detention and illegal arrests would happen in Punjab too".
(With inputs from The Hindustan Times and NDTV.)
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