Parliament Committee to study ‘border management’

Parliament Committee to study ‘border management’

GS III - Security challenges and their management in border areas

Geography (Optional) – Paper II - International boundary of India and related issues

Which panel to study border management?

  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs headed by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma has decided to study “border management”.
  • It also entails (to involve something that cannot be avoided) deliberations on the contentious extension of jurisdiction of the Border Security force (BSF) up to 50 km inside the international borders in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.

Why they are studying?

  • The Home Ministry, amended the BSF Act of 1968.
  • The BSF’s powers which include arrest, search and seizure were till now only up to 15 km in these States. Punjab and West Bengal have objected to the change.

Why Trinamool congress opposes amendment?

  • The BSF does not have policing powers and after apprehending a suspect, it can only conduct “preliminary questioning” and the seized consignment or a suspect have to be handed over to the local police within 24 hours.
  • West Bengal has 2,216 km long border with Bangladesh and the Trinamool contends that the extension of jurisdiction will effectively bring nearly one-third of the State’s territory under the BSF’s control. Out of 23 districts in the State nearly 10 districts will be affected. This will have an impact on 21 of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies which could have larger political implications.
  • The BSF Act, Section 139(3) requires the Government to lay the notification before Parliament and the members, within 30 days, can raise a motion for discussion on annulment of such an order. “It is clearly a violation of the federal values laid down in the Constitution. We will press for annulment of the order,” a Trinamool leader said.