A day after the Centre extended the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) to a 50-kilometre belt along the international border in few states, including Punjab, Congress leader and cabinet minister Pargat Singh attacked Amarinder Singh over the Union government’s move.
In an apparent reference to Captain’s meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah last month, Pargat Singh said that Amarinder Singh went to Delhi to delay the paddy procurement and now he has motivated the government to extend the BSF’s jurisdiction to Punjab. “I have always said the Captain is with the BJP only. Earlier he went to Delhi to make a delay in paddy procurement and now this… If you are deploying BSF in Punjab it shows your motive to impose governor rule…,” news agency ANI quoted Pargat Singh as saying.
“I want to appeal to the Union home minister to not take Punjab in different directions for the 2022 and 2024 elections. We will not allow anyone to make Punjab communal,” Singh added, referring to the assembly polls scheduled to be held in the state next year and the general elections later.
On Wednesday, Amarinder Singh extended his support to the move and urged people not to drag central armed forces into politics. “Our soldiers are being killed in Kashmir. We’re seeing more & more weapons & drugs being pushed by Pak-backed terrorists into Punjab. BSF’s enhanced presence & powers will only make us stronger. Let’s not drag central armed forces into politics,” Singh’s media adviser tweeted on his behalf.
Meanwhile, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi requested Amit Shah to immediately roll back this decision, terming it a “direct attack on federalism”.
In a move aimed at maintaining “zero tolerance” against terrorism and cross border crimes, the Centre has empowered the BSF to conduct searches, arrest suspects and make seizures up to an area of 50 km inside Indian territory from the International Border (IB) along the India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders.
As per the fresh order, the BSF, which was only empowered to take action up to fifteen kilometres in the states of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, has now been authorised to spread its jurisdiction up to 50km without any hurdle or further permission either from central or state governments.
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