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Modi opposes proposed move to amend BSF Act

New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today 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.

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.

He said BSF has been created to "guard our international borders with powers under Criminal Procedure Code to arrest offenders in border areas and investigate". As per the existing provisions, he said, services of Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces are requisitioned to assist the civil authorities during natural calamities and other emergencies to maintain law and order.

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.

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