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BSF Terms TMC Claim Of ‘Inappropriate’ Search Of Women ‘Unfortunate’


Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): The Border Security Force (BSF), clearing the air on the debate over extension of BSF authority to 50 km from the international border in the three states of West Bengal, Assam and Punjab, said on Wednesday that the change in territorial jurisdiction will not change much in the way the central force and the state police has been operating till now.
The central border force clarified that there will be no infringement on state powers and that the state police jurisdiction continues to be till international boundary and the enhanced jurisdiction will help BSF to strengthen the hands of the police.
BSF ADG Y B Khurania, addressing the media in Kolkata on Wednesday, said, “BSF is not an investigative agency. We do not have the right to file an FIR. It is our job to find and apprehend the prisoners. Whatever we do, state police too do it. BSF will not have additional powers as a result of this notification.”
On Tuesday, the West Bengal assembly passed a resolution against the central government decision to expand the BSF’s jurisdiction to 50km from the international border.
Talking further on the Centre’s recent border notification, ADG Khurania said, “It is our job to find and apprehend the prisoners. We have good relations with the state police, we exchange information with them. BSF has been acting in close coordination with police to conduct joint operations, including joint depth area patrolling, deploying joint naka and establishing of anti-human trafficking units at different places along the Indo-Bangladesh border. BSF will not get additional powers as a result of this notification. Enlargement of the jurisdiction of the border will not interfere with the maintenance of law and order in the state.”
He added, “If it increases from 15 km to 50 km, then there is no question of taking land for it. There is no need to create a new border outpost. BSF will continue to function as it did with 15 km jurisdiction even after 50 km notification in force.”
Reacting to the malicious claim by Trinamool Congress Dinhata MLA Udayan Guha that the jawans on the international border inappropriately touch women while checking, Khurania said, “The allegations that have been made are really unfortunate. We have more than 4,000 women and soldiers. CCTVs are installed at all the entrances of the border area. All allegations are being seriously investigated. If there is a specific complaint, it should be investigated.”
The senior officer said that the BSF is the first line of defense mandated to secure the international border with Bangladesh spanning over 4142.27 km. BSF is functioning in close coordination with various security agencies, including state police to prevent illegal infiltration and other trans-border crimes and to develop a sense of security amongst the border population. In order to perform the assigned duties, BSF has been empowered under provisions of Border Security Force Act, 1968 and other related laws and rules framed there under. ADG Khurania informed that apart from West Bengal and Assam, the other states where BSF is deployed in eastern theatre i.e Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura the jurisdiction of BSF covers the whole state.