Following Punjab's footsteps, the West Bengal assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution against the Centre's decision to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF). Though the BJP legislators in the assembly opposed the resolution, it was passed with 112 voting in favour and 63 opposing it.
State parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee moved the resolution under Rule 169 of the Procedures of Conduct of Business of the House. "We demand that this decision be withdrawn immediately as enhancing the area of jurisdiction of the BSF is a direct attack on the country's federal structure," he said.
Slamming the BSF, Trinamool MLA Udayan Guha said, "A child living in a border area can never be patriotic if he witnesses his mother being inappropriately touched under the garb of body search by the BSF."
The comment drew flak with the BJP MLAs demanding that it be expunged. However, Speaker Biman Banerjee refused to expunge the statement.
Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari slammed the comment and said that it is unacceptable to use such language against a force like the BSF. "When the Union government tries to withdraw central forces from 'Junglemahal', it is the state government that opposes the move. And now, the same government is opposing BSF activities. Under this new rule (jurisdiction extension), there is no question of conflict between the state police and the BSF," Adhikari stated.
The Union government amended the BSF Act to authorise the border force to undertake search, seizure and arrest within 50 km from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam. This was earlier 15 km.