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Charanjit Channi lashes out at Centre's move to extend BSF's jurisdiction along 3 border states Charanjit Singh Channi | BSF jurisdiction
Image credit: Charanjit Singh Channi Facebook

Charanjit Channi lashes out at Centre's move to extend BSF's jurisdiction along 3 border states

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 13 Oct 2021, 09:51 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday slammed the Centre's move to extend Border Security Force (BSF)'s jurisdiction over a wider belt along the borders of three states.

Channi lashed out at the decision as he came under attack from his own party, days after his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

According to a home ministry order, the BSF's jurisdiction in West Bengal, Punjab and Assam will be expanded from 15 km to a belt of 50 km within and along the boundary.

"I strongly condemn the GoI's unilateral decision to give additional powers to BSF within 50 KM belt running along the international borders, which is a direct attack on the federalism. I urge the Union Home Minister AmitShah  to immediately rollback this irrational decision," Channi tweeted.

According to the order, the BSF can arrest, carry out searches and make seizures over a region where its powers could clash with those of the state police in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Pathankot.

Former Punjab Congress Chief Sunil Jakhar targeted the Chief Minister over the home ministry order just a week after his meeting with Amit Shah, in which he had called for sealing the international border to control the trafficking of drugs and weapons.

"Be careful what you ask for! Has Charanjit Channi unwittingly managed to hand over half of Punjab to the central government? 25,000 square km (out of total 50,000 square km) has now been placed under BSF jurisdiction. Punjab Police stands castigated. Do we still want more autonomy to states," tweeted Jakhar.

Punjab Home Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa, however, said Channi never asked for it.

"He just appealed to check drug and arms supply across the border and seal it. Jakhar-sahab and I are both residents of a border area; he should not have tweeted this," Randhawa remarked.

"We condemn this decision. It is an infringement on the federal structure and will create an atmosphere of fear in Punjab. People will not tolerate this," he said.

"Punjab has never seen communal violence. We urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to disturb the peace of the state," Randhawa said.

However, Amarinder Singh, whom Channi replaced, approved of the move.

"Our soldiers are being killed in Kashmir. We're seeing more and more weapons and drugs being pushed by Pakistan-backed terrorists into Punjab. BSF's enhanced presence and powers will only make us stronger. Let's not drag central armed forces into politics," the captain tweeted.