Terming the Centre’s decision to extend the extended the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Punjab as an “insult” to the state police and gross violation of the spirit of federalism, the Punjab Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution seeking the withdrawal of the Centre’s notification extending the BSF jurisdiction.
The House unanimously passed the resolution “rejecting” the Centre’s order in the absence of the only two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members of the state Assembly.
The Union government had last month amended the BSF Act to authorise the border guarding force to undertake search, seizure and arrest within a 50 kilometer ( km) stretch, up from the existing 15 km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
The resolution was moved by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. It said, “Punjab is a land of martyrs and the brave”. “Punjabis have made exemplary sacrifices in our Country’s freedom struggle and later on in the wars of 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999 Punjabis have received the highest number of “Gallantry Awards” in the Country. Punjab Police is a unique patriotic force which has contributed immensely in maintaining the unity and integrity of the country,” it said.
The resolution said as per the Constitution of India, maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the state government and for this purpose, the government of Punjab is fully competent.
“The decision of extending the jurisdiction of BSF from 15 km to 50 km by the Union government is an expression of distrust towards the state police and the people of Punjab. This is their insult too. The Union government should have consulted the state government before taking such a major decision. The law and order situation in Punjab is totally under control. and there is no need to extend the jurisdiction of BSF,” it said.
The resolution said “this is a gross violation of the spirit of federalism enshrined in the Constitution of India. Extending the jurisdiction of BSF is also symbolic of petty politics. All the political parties of Punjab have unanimously condemned this decision of the Union government and have demanded the Union government should withdraw notification,”.
Randhawa termed the Centre’s notification on extending BSF’s jurisdiction an? attack on the federal structure”. He also said that the House members should meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue.
Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia told the House that the Congress-led government in the state should pass a decision that the Punjab Police would not co-operate with the BSF beyond 15 km.