Kolkata : Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Friday held a crucial meeting with
the top administrative officials of West Bengal and BSF here.
He reached the city this morning.
Mr Bhalla was on a visit in connection with the meeting with the Chief Secretary to discuss
pending land acquisition cases for construction of border fence and road projects, Border
outposts, and Integrated Check posts, according to official sources.
The Home Secretary is also expected to speak to District Magistrates of border districts and
discuss security-related issues, the official said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in October extended BSF jurisdictions to 50 km from the border
area on which Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had objected.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ms Banerjee raised strong objections against the Centre’s move to expand the jurisdiction of BSF from 15 km to 50 km along the international
border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam and said that the move was meant to torture common people.
The letter dated October 24 said that the notification suffers from serious constitutional
impropriety as it extends territorial jurisdiction to 50 km belt from the Indian border, which is
effectively non-border areas within the state’s territory.
It added that the order goes beyond the mandate of the BSF act.
The Centre had earlier in October empowered the Border Security Force (BSF) to conduct
searches, arrest suspects and make seizures up to an area of 50 km inside Indian territory
from the International Border (IB) along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders.
Meanwhile, two suspected cattle smugglers were killed in the wee hours last night when the BSF jawans opened fire to thwart smuggling of livestock from Satbhandari border post in Coochbehar district.
Senior police officers from Setai police station of Coochbehar district today said the BSF
opened fire midnight last night in which two Bangladeshi and an Indian smugglers were killed
while smuggling cattle heads from across the borders at the said border post.
The incident happened when BSF asked the smugglers to stop but the latter didn’t pay any
heed. On the contrary the smugglers started firing at the BSF forcing the latter to retaliate in
which two smugglers, including an Indian, were killed.
One BSF jawan was also injured in the attack by the smugglers.
However, unconfirmed sources put the toll at three.
The incident caused panic among the people while police were trying to identify the
The deceased Indian smuggler was identified as Prakash Burman, police informed.