Guwahati: Increasing its jurisdiction, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has given the Border Security Force (BSF) the powers of arrest, search and seizure in Assam. Besides, the forces will also enjoy similar power in two other states of West Bengal and Punjab.
BSF has gotten the right to take this action under CrPC, Passport Act and Passport (Entry to India) Act.
The MHA has given BSF the permission for raids and arrests up to an area of 50 km inside Indian territory from International Border (IB) along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders. Earlier this range was 15 kms.
Similarly, BSF will also be able to search and arrest in Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur and Ladakh.
No boundaries have been set for the five northeastern states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur.
As per the latest extension of powers, an officer of the rank corresponding to that of the lowest rank of member of the BSF is now empowered under the CrPC. To exercise and discharge the powers and duties the officer need no order from a magistrate and without a warrant.
The officer is now empowered to arrest any person who has been concerned in any cognizable offence, or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received.
A BSF officer has now been given the power to conduct a search of a place entered by a person sought to be arrested in its new area of jurisdiction.
Section 139 of the Border Security Force Act, 1968 empowers the Center to notify from time to time the area and extent of operation of the Border Security Force.