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Punjab Chief Minister urges Centre to reverse its decision to extend BSF jurisdiction

On Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi took to Twitter to condemn the Centre's decision to expand the Border Security Force's jurisdiction to a 50-kilometer belt along the international border in Punjab, West Bengal, and Assam. Previously, the BSF's jurisdiction was a 15-kilometer belt along the border.

BSF officers have the same arrest, search, and seizure powers as police officers in the areas under their jurisdiction. Punjab Chief Minister Channi called the central government's decision "a direct attack on federalism" and urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to reverse it.

The Ministry of Home Affairs stated in its notice, "The amendment, which took effect on October 11, 2021, establishes uniformity in defining the area within which the Border Security Force can operate in accordance with its charter of duties and in carrying out its role and task of border guarding in its areas of deployment. This will also improve operational effectiveness in combating transnational crime."

The area under BSF jurisdiction in Gujarat has been reduced from an 80-kilometer belt to a 50-kilometer belt. In Rajasthan, the distance has remained constant at 50 kilometres. As previously stated, no limit has been prescribed in Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Section 139 of the Border Security Force Act of 1968, which gives the Centre the authority to notify the force's jurisdiction, requires that any such order be laid before each House of Parliament. These orders can be modified or revoked by the Houses.

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