Opposing the decision of the Union government to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Punjab from 15 kilometres (km) to 50 km from the international border, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab on Monday staged protests against the Centre across the state and burnt effigies of the Narendra Modi government.
While the AAP volunteers and leaders raised slogans against the expansion of BSF’s jurisdiction against the Narendra Modi-led government, they also accused the Charanjit Singh Channi government of Punjab of failing to protect Punjab’s rights.
Leader of Opposition, Harpal Singh Cheema said the AAP leaders and volunteers protested against the dictatorial and conspiratorial decision of the centre in all the districts including Mohali, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Fazilka and Ferozepur and burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah, demanding rollback of the decision of giving additional powers to the BSF.
“The Union government is plundering the rights of the states under a huge conspiracy. The latest verdict is a robbery on the rights of Punjab and a major attack on the federal structure of the country, which the citizens of Punjab will never tolerate. That is why the AAP volunteers have staged protests across the state against the Union government,” he said.
The AAP leader said the BSF would now be able to check passports and customs duties, search houses and make arrests under the NDPS Act without Punjab Police. With this decision, out of the total area of 50,632 sq km of the state, about 27,600 sq km area would come under the jurisdiction of BSF.
Criticising the Union government, Cheema said the Modi government had already enacted black agriculture laws without the consent of the states and now the states were being deprived of their internal security rights. Attempts were being made to indirectly loot Punjab by increasing the powers of BSF, he added.
Cheema demanded the Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi should convene an all-party meeting against the decision of the Union government and a joint delegation of all the parties should exert united and uniform pressure to reverse the decision of the Union government.
At the same time, Cheema demanded a special session of the Punjab Assembly be convened to roll back the decision of the Union government unanimously.