Punjab CM Channi urges rollback on Centre's 'irrational' call to extend BSF jurisdiction along border

By Online Desk

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has condemned the Centre’s move to extend BSF’s jurisdiction to a 50-km belt along the international border in Punjab, Assam, and West Bengal.

Taking to Twitter, Channi urged for an immediate rollback on the ‘irrational’ decision, which he termed was also a ‘direct attack’ on federalism.

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.
— Charanjit S Channi (@CHARANJITCHANNI) October 13, 2021
Earlier, the BSF’s jurisdiction was a 15 km belt along the border, wherein the central paramilitary forces had the power of arrest, search and seizure on par with their counterparts in the police.

Channi’s demand comes amid strong reactions pouring in from Congress leaders, and other opposition leaders.

Former Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar said that the Chief Minister had “unwittingly managed to hand over” half of Punjab to the Central government.

Taking to Twitter, Jakhar claimed that the move “castigated” the Punjab Police.

“Be careful what you ask for! Has Charanjit Singh Channi unwittingly managed to hand over half of Punjab to the Central govt. 25000sq km (out of a total of 50,000sq km) has now been placed under BSF jurisdiction. Punjab Police stands castigated. Do we still want more autonomy to States?” Jakhar tweeted.

Meanwhile, former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had a different reaction to offer.

He backed the Centre’s decision via a tweet posted by his media advisor Raveen Thukral.

“Our soldiers are being killed in Kashmir. We’re seeing more and more weapons and drugs being pushed by Pak-backed terrorists into Punjab. BSF’s enhanced presence and powers will only make us stronger. Let’s not drag central armed forces into politics,” Amarinder said.

“Partisan considerations can’t and shouldn’t dictate our stand on issues of national security. I’d said that at the time of the 2016 surgical strikes and am saying it again. We’ve to rise above politics when India’s security is at stake, as it is now,” he added.

‘Our soldiers are being killed in Kashmir. We’re seeing more & more weapons & drugs being pushed by Pak-backed terrorists into Punjab. BSF’s enhanced presence & powers will only make us stronger. Let’s not drag central armed forces into politics’: capt_amarinder 1/2(File pic) pic.twitter.com/nu4DhAQnAz
— Raveen Thukral (@RT_Media_Capt) October 13, 2021
CM Channi had met Home Minister Amit Shah on October 5 and asked him to “seal” the international border of the state to curb trafficking and weapon.

(With inputs from Agencies)