The move by the Center to expand the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) over a wide belt on the border of the three states has sparked widespread controversy in Punjab and escalated the Congress vs. Congress crisis in the state.
A few days after the meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channy strongly condemned the decision.
According to the Home Ministry order, the BSF’s jurisdiction in West Bengal, Punjab and Assam will be extended from 15 km to 50 km within the border and within the border. The order said the BSF could make arrests, searches and seizures in an area where its powers could clash with state police in Amritsar, Taran Taran and Pathankot. The Golden Temple is about 35 km from the Attari border with Pakistan.
“Strongly condemn the government’s unilateral decision to give additional powers to the BSF within the 50-kilometer belt running along the international border, which is a direct attack on federalism. I urge Union Home Minister Amit Shah to immediately reverse this unreasonable decision,” Mr Channy tweeted, amid widespread reaction.
“We condemn this decision. It is a violation of the federal structure and will create an atmosphere of fear in Punjab. The people will not tolerate it,” said Sukhjinder Randhawa, his deputy and Punjab Home Minister.
“Punjab has never witnessed communal violence. We urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to disturb the peace of the state,” Mr Randhawa added.
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar targeted the chief minister in a Home Ministry order just a week after his meeting with Amit Shah, where he called for sealing international borders to curb drug and arms trafficking.
“Be careful what you want! Has Charanjit Channy unknowingly handed over half of Punjab to the central government? 25,000 sq km (out of a total of 50,000 sq km) is now under BSF jurisdiction. I still want more autonomy for the state,” Mr Mr Zakhar tweeted. Has done.
Be careful what you ask for! There is AR Charanjitchi Unknowingly, half of Punjab has been handed over to the central government. 25000 sq km (within a total of 50,000 sq km) is now under the jurisdiction of BSF. Punjab police angry. Do we still want more autonomy for the state? https://t.co/JlGB7G0PnjAdvertisement
– Sunil Jakhar (unsunilkjakhar) October 13, 2021
Sukhjinder Randhawa said the chief minister never wanted it.
“He just checked the supply of drugs and weapons across the border and asked to seal it. Jakhar-Sahab and I are both residents of the border area, he should not have tweeted this,” Mr Randhawa commented.
Amarinder Singh, who was replaced by Mr Channy, approved the move.
“Our troops are being killed in Kashmir. We see more weapons and drugs being pushed into Punjab by Pakistan-backed terrorists. The increased presence and power of the BSF will make us stronger. Let’s not drag the Central Armed Forces into politics,” the captain tweeted. Has done.
Our troops are being killed in Kashmir. We see Pak-backed terrorists pushing more and more weapons and drugs into Punjab. The increased presence and capability of the BSF will only strengthen us. Let’s not drag the Central Armed Forces into politics’: Capt_Amrinder 1/2
(File image) pic.twitter.com/nu4DhAQnAzAdvertisement
– Rabin Thukral (T_RT_Media_Capt) October 13, 2021
Congressman Manish Tiwari tweeted that the Centre’s move would allow it to “institutionalize the alternative policing instance” and called on the Punjab Chief Minister to oppose it.
The evil part of Section 139 of the BSF Act
“That is punishable under any other central law. ‘
This allows the GOI to institutionalize an alternative policing instance. Was the Punjab government consulted?Advertisement
– Manish Tiwari (Anish Manish Tiwari) October 13, 2021
The Congress has yet to address its other problem – Navjot Sidhu, who resigned as the party’s Punjab Congress chief last month just four months before the state elections. He has not yet withdrawn his resignation and will hold a meeting with senior leaders of the party tomorrow.
Although Mr Sidhu Sidhu set the stage for Mr Channy to take over after his rival Amarinder Singh stepped down, he was unhappy with the choice of the new chief minister in key positions such as attorney general, police chief and ministers.
As the Congress is fighting in Punjab, the BJP’s war-room has held a review with Amit Shah this evening for the upcoming elections. Although the BJP has been in trouble in Punjab since its split with longtime ally Akali Dal, a meeting between its top leaders and Amarinder Singh suggested that it could benefit from the loss of the Congress.