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Gujarat Chief Minister sends letter objecting to Centre’s move to ‘Create a State within a State’

Narendra Modi warns Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against giving wider powers to BSF to arrest and search anybody, anywhere in India

 

Ahmedabad, Saturday: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today warned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against amending the Border Security Force Act, 1968 to give wide powers to BSF to arrest and search any body in any part of India.

In a strongly worded letter, Mr. Modi objected to the unwarranted move, especiallywhen the Chief Ministers of different states are meeting  in New Delhi on April 16, 2012.

Mr. Modi described it as yet another systematic move to ‘Create a State within State’ or a ‘Second State’. He recalled that he had sent letters to thePrime Minister earlier too, opposing the Centre’s unilateral and arbitrary move to create National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and give wider powers toRailway ProtectionForce (RPF) to interfere into states’affairs and jurisdiction and curtail their powers.

As mentioned in the agenda of  NCTC, Mr. Modi pointed out that similar provisions are already available to CAPF like SSB, ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force). Some state governments have expressed their views and favoured the move.

He said that 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 Para-Military Forces are requisitioned to assist the civil authorities during natural calamities and other emergencies to maintain law and order. And these forces have stood up to the expectation in performing their duty. He said that Para Military Forces like State Reserve Police (SRP) also perform their duty with respective State Governments, but have not given any power to arrest or investigate.

On the one hand, he said, the Union Government expects better coordination among different intelligence units with the Forces maintaining internal security, and on the other hand attempting to axe the powers from the State Police creating distrust and demoralize the police, which could not be accepted in any circumstances.

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PM reviews status of oxygen availability to ensure adequate supply
April 16, 2021
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PM Narendra Modi took a comprehensive review to ensure adequate medical grade oxygen supply in the country. Inputs from ministries like Health, DPIIT, Steel, Road Transport, etc were also shared with the PM. PM stressed that it is important to ensure synergy across ministries & state governments.

PM Modi also took a detailed review of current situation of oxygen supply and projected use in the coming 15 days across 12 high burden states (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan). An overview of district level situation in these states was presented to the PM.

PM was informed that the Centre and States are in regular contact and estimates for projected demand have been shared with states as on 20th April, 25th April & 30th April. Accordingly, 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT have been allocated to these 12 states for meeting their projected demand as on 20th April, 25th April and 30th April, respectively.

PM was briefed about production capacity in the country to meet the rising demand. PM suggested to increase oxygen production as per capacity of each plant. It was discussed that surplus stocks of oxygen supply in steel plants are being offered from medical use.

PM urged officials to ensure seamless and free movement of tankers carrying oxygen throughout the country. The Government has exempted all interstate movement of oxygen tankers from registration of permits to enable easier movement. PM was informed that States and transporters have been asked to ensure tankers move round the clock with drivers working in shifts to ensure faster turnaround and adequate capacity to meet the surge in demand. Cylinder filling plants will also be permitted 24 hour working with necessary safeguards. The Government is allowing Industrial cylinders to be used for medical oxygen after due purging. Similarly nitrogen and argon tankers will be automatically allowed to be converted to oxygen tankers to overcome the potential shortage of tankers.

Officers also briefed the PM about the efforts being made to import medical grade oxygen.