In a strongly-worded letter, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, on Thursday, termed the instruction given by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to police in Nadia district, having border with Bangladesh, not to allow the Border Security Force (BSF) to enter areas that are outside its jurisdiction, as potentially alarming for federal polity and national security.

On Wednesday, Mamata Banerjee, while holding an administrative meeting in North Bengal, asked the police to stay alert so that the BSF do not breach their stipulated jurisdiction limits of 15km from the India-Bangladesh border in the state.

The chief minister’s directive had attracted criticism from several quarters as West Bengal shares around 2,300km of international border with Bangladesh.

On Wednesday, leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari said the chief minister’s directive to the police was against the rule of law and poses risk to national security.

A similar sentiment echoed in the letter from the governor.

Raj Bhavan sources said the governor arrived at the conclusion after watching what Banerjee said about the extension of jurisdiction.

Calling Banerjee’s outburst a “disturbing signal”, Dhankhar said, “In the state having international borders with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, central armed police forces play a significantly well-defined role from the perspective of national security and containing criminal illegal activities. There is obvious need to generate bonhomie not confrontation; cooperation and not combat amongst these agencies and state apparatus.”   

The governor asked the chief minister to work for syncing different central and state security agencies to safeguard the state of Bengal as well as India.

“This imperatively calls for, in public and national interests, that your directives, instructions, as also stance regarding functioning of BSF, be revisited so as to generate an environment of harmony and cooperation. Given the critical and momentum significance of the issue, while expecting an early update, (I) am sure appropriate steps, as stated, would be urgently taken at your end.”

The state government is yet to respond to the governor’s letter.

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