West Bengal Assembly passes resolution against extending BSF’s jurisdiction

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A Border Security Force soldier patrols India’s border fence with Bangladesh at Tehatta, West Bengal, India, May 3, 2020. Photo: © 2020 Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via AP

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A Border Security Force soldier patrols India’s border fence with Bangladesh at Tehatta, West Bengal, India, May 3, 2020. Photo: © 2020 Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via AP

The West Bengal state legislative assembly today passed a resolution against the Indian government’s decision to extend the Border Security Force’s jurisdiction to conduct seize operations and make arrests. 

The resolution was passed with 112 votes favouring it and 63 opposing it, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

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West Bengal became the second state after Punjab where the assembly passed such a resolution on November 11.

In October, the BJP-led federal government amended the BSF Act to authorise the border guarding force to conduct search and seizure operations and make arrest within a 50km stretch, extending from 15km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.

While Bengal and Punjab are ruled by TMC and Congress respectively, the BJP is in power in Assam.

The resolution in the West Bengal legislature was moved by the state’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee under Rule 169 of the Procedures of Conduct of Business of the House.

”We demand that this decision be withdrawn immediately as enhancing the area of jurisdiction of the BSF is a direct attack on the country’s federal structure,” Chatterjee said.

The assembly witnessed unruly scenes during the day after ruling Trinamool Congress legislator Udayan Guha accused the BSF personnel of “inappropriately touching” women in border areas of the state while doing body search.

”A child living in a border area can never be patriotic if he witnesses his mother being inappropriately touched under the garb of body search by the BSF,” Guha said.

Furious BJP legislators opposed Guha’s charge and demanded his remarks be expunged. However, Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee, did not expunged Guha’s comment.

Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said the kind of language used against a force like the BSF is completely unacceptable.

”When the union government tries to withdraw central forces from Junglemahal (when it was Maoist-hit), it is the state government that opposes the move. And now, the same government is opposing BSF activities. Under this new move (jurisdiction extension), there is no question of conflict between the state police and the BSF,” Adhikari said.

A BSF officer, responding to the allegations made by Guha, told ANI that “BSF is a professional force that has always performed the mandated duties by adhering to the rules and regulations.”

“BSF Mahila praharis are the ones who do frisking of females. The allegations of inappropriately touching women by BSF personnel are utterly baseless,” the officer added.

Earlier this month, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had slammed the Indian government’s move, terming it an “attempt to interfere with the federal structure” of the country.

Author: desi123

Desi123.com is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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