West Bengal Assembly is scheduled on Tuesday to discuss the state government’s resolution against the Centre’s decision to extend the BSF’s jurisdiction up to 50 km inside the international border. The Centre, earlier in the month of October had empowered the Border Security Force (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 India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders.
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 extend its jurisdiction up to 50 km without any hurdle or permission either from central or state governments. However, its jurisdiction has been cut short by 20 km in the five northeastern states– Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya– where it had jurisdiction up to 80 km. Similarly in Gujarat, the BSF’s jurisdiction has been curtailed from 80 to 50 km. In Rajasthan, the BSF’s area of jurisdiction will remain the same at 50 km.
Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that like Punjab, they are also protesting against the Centre’s decision to increase search and arrest jurisdiction of BSF in border states.