The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday enhanced the powers of the Border Security Force (BSF) to “arrest, search and seize” within 50 km from the international boundary in Assam, West Bengal and Punjab.
The notification published on October 11 stated that these powers of the BSF will also extend to the new union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The BSF's limit was fixed up to 80km in Gujarat and 15km in Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
The violations for which the BSF carries out search and seizure include smuggling of narcotics, other prohibited items, illegal entry of foreigners and offences punishable under any other Central Act, and others. Now, the BSF can conduct a preliminary questioning for the suspect and hand over the suspect to local police in 24 horus.
Interestingly, in 2012, Narendra Modi the then Gujarat’s CM had written to the then PM Manmohan Singh opposing the Centre’s proposed move of amending the BSF Act, 1968, to give wide powers to the Central armed police force to arrest and search anybody in any part of the country.