Bengal and Punjab’s doubts over BSF jurisdiction ill-founded: MoS Home

New Delhi: The apprehensions of the West Bengal and Punjab governments regarding the recent strengthening of the competence of the Border Security Force are “ill-founded”, and it will instead contribute to “more effective control” of cross-border crimes in cooperation with States , the government told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The Union government had issued a notification in October extending the Border Force’s jurisdiction in West Bengal, Punjab and Assam from the existing 15 km to 50 km from the front.

Also Read: Why West Bengal Opposes Increased BSF Jurisdiction?

Minister of State for the Interior Nityanand Rai, said in a written response that the governments of West Bengal and Punjab had expressed their “concern that such a decision would impinge on the powers of the state government”.

“Their apprehensions are ill-founded. Extending the territorial jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) would result in better and more effective control of cross-border crimes in collaboration and cooperation with States,” the Minister said.

Rai said Section 139(1)(i) of the BSF Act 1968 empowers the central government to confer powers and duties on members of the force in relation to any central law for specified purposes.

In response to another question on the same topic, he said that the skill enhancement “aims to empower BSF to perform its border guard duties more effectively as a result of the use of technologies such as remote-controlled dynamic navigation equipment (drones), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), among others, usually at long range, by anti-national forces for surveillance as well as for smuggling of weapons, narcotics and fakes Indian banknotes (FICN)”.

“It would also help reduce the threat of cattle smuggling as smugglers take refuge in inland areas outside the jurisdiction of BSF. There is no impact on the jurisdiction of state governments,” he said. he assures.

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