BSF jurisdiction: Congress says will consult parties, state govts to compel Centre to repeal order

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By PTI

NEW DELHI: Expressing grave concern over the Centre’s move to grant more powers to the Border Security Force, the Congress on Saturday said it will consult other political parties as well as state governments and formulate a course of action to compel the Modi government to repeal the order on it.

The Union government has amended the BSF Act to authorise the force to undertake search, seizure and arrest within a larger 50 km stretch, instead of the existing 15 km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.

In a resolution, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) said the party has noted with grave concern the notifications issued by the central government empowering the officers of central security forces to search any place and arrest, as also search any person in the purported exercise of powers to prevent a cognisable offence under any central act.

“This is a dangerous encroachment on the exclusive power of the states and the powers of the state police,” the CWC said.

The Congress party will consult all stakeholders and other political parties as well as state governments and formulate a course of action to compel the Modi government to repeal these notifications, the resolution stated.

The notification issued by the Centre will allow the border guarding force to execute the powers of search, seizure and arrest for the purpose of prevention of any offence punishable under the Passport Act, the Registration of Foreigners Act, the Central Excises and Salt Act, the Foreigners Act, the Foreign Exchange Management Act, the Customs Act or of any cognisable offence punishable under any other Central Act, according to officials.

The resolution also alleged that drug trafficking has assumed “monstrous proportions” and the seizure of 3,000 kg of heroin at Mundra Port, Gujarat, following reports of another large consignment that was successfully “imported” into India, gives an indication of the huge dimensions of the illegal trade that seems to have flourished under the watch of the government.



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