West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday criticized the Centre's move to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force, alleging that it is an attempt to interfere with the federal structure of the country.
The BJP-led central government had amended the BSF Act to authorize the force to undertake search, seizure, and arrest within a larger 50 km stretch, instead of 15 km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal, and Assam. Banerjee, however, said the state has no problems in the border areas.
"About the BSF matter, we have sent a letter protesting the move. Earlier, they had jurisdiction of 15 km, there were incidents of firing in Balurghat or Cooch Behar. Now, they extended it to 50 km. This is an attempt to interfere with the federal structure of the country," Banerjee said at an administrative review meeting here.
"We do not have problems in the border areas and share very cordial relations (with neighboring countries). There is no need to create this confusion. Law and order is a state subject. BSF must look after what they are responsible for and we will have total support for that," she said.
West Bengal shares an international border with Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan.
Banerjee had on Sunday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately withdraw the Union Home Ministry's notification that extended the jurisdiction of BSF.