The Home Ministry had again clarified the rationale behind the extension of the BSF's jurisdiction in border states in the ongoing Winter Session of the Parliament on Tuesday. MHA explained the extension in the jurisdiction as a measure to tackle the growing menace of drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles, among other things, to tighten the security on borders.

While responding to the questions raised by the disgruntled BJP MP Varun Gandhi, the Minister of State for Home, Nityanand Rai in a written response emphasised that the extension of the security forces' territorial jurisdiction on the border areas in some states is a calculated move, which is implemented to provide more power to armed forces to maintain strict vigilance against the movement of drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles across the border by anti-national forces and also to prohibit smuggling.

The MoS Home NItyanand Rai further informed Lok Sabha that the issue will also curb cattle smuggling, as these smugglers take refuge in inner territories, to stay out of BSF's territory.

'Extension in the territorial jurisdiction of BSF in some States is aimed at empowering BSF to discharge border guarding duties more effectively in wake of the use of technology like Drones, Unmanned Aerial vehicles, etc by anti-national forces for surveillance & smuggling. It would also help in curbing the menace of cattle smuggling as smugglers take refuge in the interior areas outside the jurisdiction of BSF,' he said.

The response came after the Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi had questioned the government to explain the rationale behind the extension of the jurisdiction of Border Security Forces up to 50km inside the territory of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.

Earlier, on the second day of the Parliament's winter assembly session, November 30, the MHA had dismissed the reservations of the opposition state governments of Punjab and West Bengal on the move and said that their apprehension of forces trespassing the powers of the state is 'ill-founded.

The MHA had stressed that the move would result in better and more effective control of trans-border crimes. On Nov 30, the ministry was responding to TMC MP Sajda Ahmed's question asking if the government was considering revoking its decision over BSF's jurisdiction.

"The extension of territorial jurisdiction of BSF would result in better and more effective control on trans-border crimes in conjunction and co-operation with State Police. Govt of West Bengal and Govt of Punjab have expressed their apprehension that such a move encroaches upon the powers of the State Government. Their apprehension are ill-founded," said MHA.