Jayalalithaa opposes BSF Act amendment


Chennai : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has categorically opposed a proposed amendment to the Border Security Force (BSF) Act, 1968, saying it encroaches upon the states’ powers.

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She has demanded that the issue be discussed at the chief ministers’ meet convened by union Home Minister P. Chidambaram May 5.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday, the text of which was released to the media here Friday, Jayalalithaa said: “The provisions of the proposed amendments to the BSF Act smack of a desire to smuggle in a mechanism inspired by the same goals as those behind the setting up of an operations division in the NCTC (National Counter Terrorism Centre), through the backdoor.”

The amendment proposes to empower the paramilitary BSF to search and arrest anybody in any part of the country.

Frowning upon inclusion of the BSF Act amendment as supplementary agenda at the recent conference of chief ministers on internal security in New Delhi, Jayalalithaa said: “The members of the Rajya Sabha had, as early as on March 29, 2012, requested that the subject be discussed in the conference of chief ministers.”

“With more than two weeks at their disposal, I am surprised that the Ministry of Home Affairs had proposed this as a supplementary agenda item.”

“This item (BSF Act amendment proposal) was contained in the Supplementary Agenda notes that reached us only on the day of the conference. Hence my views expressed at the conference did not carry my state’s response to this matter,” Jayalalithaa said.

Since the amendments proposed to the BSF Act seem to have a similar motive as that of NCTC, it would be appropriate if these are also discussed at the chief ministers conference May 5, Jayalalithaa said.