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Centre’s BSF move sparks row

“The local police is enough to maintain law and order. I don’t know why this has been implemented. Everything was going on well. How is it possible to run a dual administration with the state police and the BSF? The Centre should have discussed the matter with the state government before implementing it,”

Srikanta Thakur | Balurghat |

State president of the BJP Sukanta Majumdar has welcomed the decision of the central government to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) to 50 km inside the Indian Territory from the border. Mr Majumdar, the MP from Balurghat, claimed that the move will strengthen national security.

The state minister in-charge for Agricultural Marketing, Biplab Mitra, however, criticised the decision. According to Mr Majumdar, the Centre has now empowered the BSF to conduct searches, arrest suspects and make seizures up to an area spanning 50 km inside Indian soil from the international borders with Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Earlier, the BSF had the power to conduct such activities only up to 15 km from the borders. Given the new order issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, a major part of South Dinajpur district and other districts in north Bengal will fall under the jurisdiction of the BSF.

The move has stirred controversy in South Dinajpur, with state minister Mr Mitra saying that the same will harm the country’s federal structure. “The local police is enough to maintain law and order. I don’t know why this has been
implemented. Everything was going on well. How is it possible to run a dual administration with the state police and the BSF? The Centre should have discussed the matter with the state government before implementing it,” Mr
Mitra said.

On the other hand, Mr Majumdar said that the decision was a good one that will strengthen the internal security of the country. “Earlier, it was within 15 km from the international border. Now, all districts in Bengal that share the border with Bangladesh will come under this new rule. The problem of smuggling, cow smuggling and trespassing will stop.

In Bengal, the state police are working as a political party, so I now hope the state police will work together with the BSF to strengthen internal security. The central government has imposed this power to strengthen the BSF,” the BJP state president said.