Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Saturday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing Centre's proposed move of amending Border Security Force Act, 1968 to give wide powers to the paramilitary force to arrest and search anybody in any part of the country.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi talks to media after paying tribute to BR Ambedkar on his 121st birth anniversary in Vadodara. PTI Photo
In his letter, Modi objected to the unwarranted move, especially when the chief ministers of different states are meeting in New Delhi on April 16, a state government release said here.
He dubbed the move to give arrest powers to BSF as yet another systematic move to "create a state within state" or a "second state", it said.
Modi had earlier sent letters to the Prime Minister opposing the Centre's move to create NCTC and giving wider powers to Railway Protection Force.
"As far as I understand, BSF was created for the protection of our borders. The BSF has been given powers under Criminal Procedure Code to arrest offenders in border areas and investigate them," Modi said.
As per the existing provisions, he said, services of Armed Forces and Para-Military Forces are requisitioned to assist the civil authorities during natural calamities and other emergencies to maintain law and order and these forces have stood up to the expectation in performing their duty.
He said paramilitary forces like State Reserve Police (SRP) also perform their duty with respective state governments, but have not been given any power to arrest or investigate.
BSF, which is at present deployed for anti-Naxal operations, had sought an amendment to the act so that it could also arrest people within the country especially in Maoist-hit states.
At present, the BSF has arrest and seizure powers limited to the border areas.
The centre is attempting to axe the powers of the state police creating distrust and is trying to demoralise them, which could not be accepted under any circumstances, Modi said.