Unable to handle its own internal conflict, the Congress government in Punjab has now seemingly decided to ‘handle’ the nation’s conflict with neighbouring countries. In its latest stunt, the Punjab state government seems to be keen to bypass the Border Security Force (BSF), to allegedly support their Khalistani friends.
Congress Government passes a resolution against BSF:
The Punjab government has passed a resolution against the extension of BSF jurisdiction. The state’s deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who also handles the home minister portfolio of the state, took over the responsibility of moving the resolution in the assembly. The resolution condemned the central government for the extension of areas to be covered by BSF for search, seizure and arrest.
Punjab Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa today during a special session of the Legislative Assembly moved a resolution rejecting the Central Government's decision on extending the jurisdiction of BSF from 15 km to 50 km in border States
(file photo) pic.twitter.com/fFZ2hhZFfL
— ANI (@ANI) November 11, 2021
The resolution appreciated Punjab’s martyrs for sacrificing their lives. But it went a step further in comparing BSF and the Punjab force. The resolution states, “Punjab Police is a unique patriotic force that has contributed immensely to maintaining the unity and integrity of the country. As per the Constitution, maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the state government and for this purpose, the government of Punjab is fully competent. The decision of extending the jurisdiction of the BSF from 15 km to 50 km by the Union government is an expression of distrust towards the state police and the people of Punjab. This is their insult too. The Union government should have consulted the state government before taking such a major decision.”
The resolution is controversial:
The resolution also claimed that all parties in the state unanimously condemn the extension of BSF Jurisdiction. However, facts on the ground differ, as the BJP members abstained from attending the assembly, while Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) condemned it.
The Deputy CM also elaborated on the coordination between BSF and Punjab Police. Explaining the Jurisdiction of both forces, Randhawa said, “Till 5 km from the border, the first line of defence is full with BSF. Second line is jointly held with BSF and Punjab Police and the third line is with Punjab Police only.” He also claimed that Punjab Police had made more recovery than BSF, however, he did not mention that Punjab Police covers broader areas inside the sovereignty of the state. He also accused the centre of trying to interfere in state politics and not valuing the federal structure of the country.
SAD opposes the resolution:
Bikram Singh Majithia, the SAD leader, came in fierce opposition to the resolution. He informed how Punjab Congress members have been using central security forces for state duties. He specially mentioned how Sukhjinder Randhawa had used BSF officers as jail superintendents during his stint as Jail Minister. “When you (Sukhjinder Randhawa) were Jail minister you got BSF officers posted as superintendents in Punjab jails. You yourself did not express faith in Punjab Police,” said Majithia.
In October, the Narendra Modi government had issued a notification, according to which, BSF can now conduct operations like search, seizure and arrest, within 50km of the international border with Pakistan. Similar notifications were passed for border states like West Bengal and Assam.
Punjab has been a hotbed for amalgamation of Islamists and Khalistanis:
As reported by the TFI, recently, Punjab has been in news for various reasons which include political coups as well as anti-national activities. Riding on the back of sycophantic supporters, Navjot Singh Sidhu had finally forced Captain Amarinder Singh to resign. The post-resignation drama was highlighted by Captain Amarinder’s open proclamation of Sidhu’s anti-national tilt. Now, Sidhu, who has been an active supporter of Pakistan, is a kingmaker in the state. This is a grave risk to national security.
Other than the pro-Pakistan elements in Punjab, the state has also witnessed a massive surge in pro-Khalistani elements. The farm laws brought by the central government to assimilate farmers into the formal economy met fierce opposition from various organisations in the state. The people opposing farm laws saw massive support from Khalistanis, as they saw an opportunity in the protests to break India. In fact, it is widely believed that Captain Amarinder drew the ire of Congress because of his open stance against Khalistanis.
Currently, India is facing an almost existential threat from countries like China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Along with illegal migration and border clashes, drugs, arms and fake currency circulation are some of the key methods which our neighbours use to break us. It is only pertinent for the central government to increase the vigilantism in border areas to stop the intermingling of Khalistanis and Islamists. States should support the enhancement of internal security, and not pass resolutions against it.