(Dr Daljit S Cheema demands CM tell home minister to withdraw extension in jurisdiction given to BSF)
(Also tells CM to apprise HM that repeated tours of Governor to border districts were creating confusion vis a vis the chain of command in Punjab)
Chandigarh : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today requested chief minister Bhagwant Singh Mann to immediately apprise the union home minister that the dual jurisdiction of Punjab Police and Border Security Force (BSF) was coming in the way of proceeding against drugs and weapon smugglers in the border belt of Punjab and that the extension in jurisdiction given to the BSF should be withdrawn.
Asserting this in a release here, senior leader Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said a recent case in which two drug and weapon smugglers escaped the law due to non-cooperation in Faridkot district was an eye opener. “It is now clear that dual jurisdiction is coming in the way of policing in the border areas. Earlier when the jurisdiction of the BSF had been increased from 15 km along the international border to 50 km it was stated that it was a technical issue and that the BSF would complement the efforts of the State police. From the Faridkot incident and numerous others it is becoming clear that the BSF wants to work independently and is openly hostile to pleas of cooperation from the Punjab Police. This is striking at the very essence of the federal structure and the chief minister should approach home minister Amit Shah immediately without fail and request that the jurisdiction of BSF be reverted to the earlier 15 km radius”.
Dr Cheema said simultaneously the chief minister should request the home minister to ensure complete cooperation of the BSF with Punjab Police authorities even in the limited jurisdiction of 15 km once it came into force. “Smugglers and narco-terrorists should not be allowed to take the benefit of dual jurisdiction to get off the hook. In fact even closer cooperation is required to ensure Pakistan does not succeed in its efforts to foment trouble in the border State”.
The SAD leader also requested the chief minister to apprise the home minister about State Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s recent tours to the border districts which had also created confusion vis a vis the chain of command in Punjab. “As per norms the centre only intervenes in a State in case there is a constitutional breakdown. Otherwise the elected State government is allowed to tackle all issues of law and order. This sentiment should be conveyed to the centre by the chief minister to ensure the federal structure of the country is not tweaked in any manner whatsoever”, Dr Cheema added.