Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has welcomed the Centre’s move to extend the BSF’s (Border Security Force) operational jurisdiction.
CM Sarma said that the move would strengthen national security and national interest.
“Assam welcomes the extension of BSF’s operational jurisdiction. In coordination with state police, this move will serve as a strong deterrent for defeating cross border smuggling & illegal infiltration. It will strengthen national security and national interest,” said CM Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Border Security Force (BSF) will now have the power to arrest, search, and seizure to the extent of 50 km inside Assam, West Bengal.
Union Home ministry claims that recent drone droppings of weapons from across the border have prompted this expansion in the jurisdiction of the BSF in the three states that share borders with Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Section 139 of the Border Security Force Act, 1968, empowers the Centre to notify the area and extent of the border force’s operational mandate, from time to time.
As per the latest notification issued by the home ministry on Monday, the central government has revised the ‘Schedule’ specifying the border stretch where BSF would have powers of search, seizure and arrest under Acts like Passport Act, NDPS Act, Customs Act as well as Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Meghalaya; UTs of J&K and Ladakh; and 50km-belt in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Bengal and Assam.
“The amendment effected on October 11 establishes uniformity in defining the area within which Border Security Force can operate as per its charter of duties and execution of its role and task of border guarding in its areas of deployment,” the BSF said in a statement.
It added: “This will also enable improved operational effectiveness in curbing trans-border crime and to an extent of 50 km from the international boundary within the states of states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, running along the borders of India.”