Amritsar (Punjab) [India], October 16 (ANI): Slamming the Centre for extending the jurisdiction of Border Security Force (BSF), Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Saturday alleged that an "unseen emergency like situation" is being created in Punjab.
Randhawa's remarks came during his visit to the Ajnala area of Amritsar that borders Pakistan.
Speaking to ANI, the deputy chief minister said, "Unseen emergency like situation is being created in Punjab, which will never be tolerated. Punjab is safe in the hands of the Punjab Police. The Centre should instead focus on drugs, weapons and drones coming from across the border. Peaceful Punjabis must not be harassed."
Randhawa, who is also the Home Minister of Punjab, reiterated the demands of the state government that Punjab police should be left to handle the law and order situation in the state.
"BSF should be kept at the border only and the rest of the areas should be left for Punjab Police to maintain law and order."
He further said that the Centre's move might weaken the federal structure of the country.
"People fear that BSF personnel would randomly enter their houses, cordon off villages and conduct searches. If BSF enters villages, conducts searches, registers cases or set up stations, it would be an attempt to weaken the federal structure of the country," he stated.
As per the Centre's 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. (ANI)