New Delhi [India], October 14 (ANI): Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Manoj Jha on Thursday slammed the Centre over its decision to extend the Border Security Force (BSF)'s jurisdiction over a wider area along the borders of three states and said that it is not in the "spirit of cooperative federalism" and is an "encroachment upon state's rights".
Speaking to ANI, Jha condemned the decision and said, "We are already agitated with the politicising of the government agencies. On top of that, if such things happen, then you are encroaching upon the states' rights."
"I know that it is tempting for them (Centre) but they should be careful of their greed even if they have a majority. It hurts the entire paradigm of state's rights. This is not in the spirit of cooperative federalism," he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Centre decided to extend the BSF's jurisdiction over a wider area along the borders of three states. The decision has been slammed by various political leaders.
In a move aimed at maintaining "zero tolerance" against terrorism and cross border crimes, the Centre empowered the BSF to conduct searches, arrest suspects and make seizures up to an area of 50 km inside Indian territory from the International Border (IB) along the India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders.
As per the fresh order, the BSF, which was only empowered to take action up to fifteen kilometres in the states of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, has now been authorised to spread its jurisdiction up to 50 km without any hurdle or further permission either from central or state governments.
However, its jurisdiction has been cut short by 20 km in the five northeastern states-- Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya-- where it had jurisdiction up to 80 km. Similarly in Gujarat, the BSF's jurisdiction has been curtailed from 80 to 50 km.
In Rajasthan, the BSF's area of jurisdiction will remain the same at 50 km. An officer of the rank corresponding to that of the lowest rank of member of the BSF is now empowered under the CrPC to exercise and discharge the powers and duties without an order from a Magistrate and without a warrant.
The officer is now empowered to arrest any person who has been concerned in any cognisable offence, or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received. A BSF officer has now been given the power to conduct a search of a place entered by a person sought to be arrested in its new area of jurisdiction. (ANI)