India heading towards a Military State

India heading towards a Military State

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Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) started this petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and

Recently, through a gazette notification issued by the Home Ministry, it has been stated that some states of India including West Bengal, the perimeter of the BSF's jurisdiction has been increased from 15 kms to 50 kms from the border. Hence the BSF will enforce their rule within 50 kms inside Indian territory from the international border. Due to this about half of West Bengal's districts will fall under the BSF's regime. As a result, it is apprehended that torture by the BSF upon civilians will increase severely. A study reveals that more than 150 civilians are being killed by the BSF along the border in a year during 2011 to 2020, which has increased from 100 during 2001 to 2010. More than 1000 civilians per year are being tortured and sexually abused resulting in impunity. Police and the BSF working with similar capacity in the same area may also result in further complexity. This is a step of the central government to militarize the state and curb the federal structure of the country.

According to the constitution of the country the responsibility of law and order is bestowed upon the state police. In this case the BSF is also being handed over the charge of controlling law and order of the states. Therefore, according to this, the union structure of the country is being dismissed and central administration is being enforced upon the states. At the end of the day, India will experience a dictatorial regime instead of democracy. Moreover, the lower house of the Parliament, the Lok Sabha, has been completely ignored while taking this crucial decision. Therefore, we will have to stop making India a police state. Hence, our demand is as follows:

  • The empowerment of the BSF by departmental orders of the Union Home Ministry is indeed a blow to the federal structure. Needless to say that this method is an attack on the constitution of the country. This order should be revoked.
  • Every Indian national who have been killed or tortured by the BSF must be tried in a public court of law according to the law of the land; adequate compensation must be paid to all their families.
  • BSF personnel accused of murder, torture, molestation of women should be tried in the open courts of law and not in the BSF court. Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code has to be withdrawn.
  • Restrictions in the movement of the villagers at the India-Bangladesh border need to be eradicated. The BSF needs to be posted outside the barbed wire and guard the actual border, not inside the villages.
  • We welcome the decision of the West Bengal government to oppose the extension of BSF’s jurisdiction of 50 km area. However, we would like to add that it is unconstitutional to implement section 144 on the Bangladesh border for ages in response to the BSF's request. This is illegal as per the Supreme Court of India’s judgement.

We are looking forward to your whole-hearted support and cooperation in this cause.

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