New Delhi: Amid uproar over extension of Border Security Force’s (BSF) jurisdiction, Inspector General (Operations) Solomon Minz said there is no overlapping of powers with the state police. The BSF will continue to work in coordination with the police like always. The increase in area of territorial jurisdiction is to help BSF get more hold on the areas adjoining borders and in villages, Minz told Palak Sharma of India Ahead.
Referring to the additional powers given to central paramilitary forces 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, he said that the powers of BSF will increase but it won’t affect the authority of the state police.
The Inspector General further said that the power with BSF under CrPC and Passport act will now be extended to a new operational area. Border safety is a part of internal security and they are sensitive about it. The idea behind extending operational areas is to curb all kinds of cross-border crime. “External security has a bearing on internal security and larger area means larger power,” Minz said.
The amendments were made on October 11 to establish uniformity in defining the area within which BSF can operate as per its charter of duties and execution of its Role and Task of border guarding in its areas of deployment, said Minz.
The BSF IG added that this will also enable improved operational effectiveness in curbing trans-border crime to an extent of 50 km from the International Boundary within the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, running along the borders of India.
Earlier, the limit was fixed to 80 km in the case of Gujarat and 15 km in the case of Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
“We always work in close coordination with state police. We have monthly meetings with state police and we have a system of border security grid to further strengthen border security and better coordination,” said Minz.
The Congress government in Punjab has opposed the increase in the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in the international border areas of the country. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has also opposed it. Both the parties have demanded the Centre to withdraw this decision, calling it an attack on the federal structure.
“Drones have been a menace…they are not limited to borders so we’ll be able to manage that better till a larger area. We already have an SoP,” further said.
(With inputs from ANI)