Union Ministry of Home Affairs Current Affairs - 2020

Operation Sudarshan: launched by BSF to fortify border with Pakistan

Border Security Force (BSF) has launched a massive exercise, code named as Sudarshan, to fortify Anti-Infiltration Grid along Pakistan border in Punjab and Jammu. The operation was launched on 1 July and is expected to be finished within a fortnight.

Operation Sudarshan

Name: The exercise has been named Sudarshan drawing from Sudarshan Chakra (or mythological cutting wheel) of Lord Krishna.

Coverage Area: It will cover entire over 1,000-km length of India-Pakistan International Border out of which Jammu shares about 485-km of border with Pakistan and about 553-km of border front is in Punjab. The international border then further runs down towards Rajasthan and Gujarat on India’s western flank.

Why BSF?

As it is the primary force guarding this frontier as First Line of Defence. The exercise will see entire BSF’s senior field brass, thousands of troops and machinery being deployed in these forward areas.

Boosting Defence:

Huge assortments of heavy machinery, communication interceptors and mobile bulletproof bunkers have been mobilized to the borders as part of exercise.

Frontier and Battalion commanders from Commandant rank to Inspector General (IG), their second-in-command as well as commanders of company (unit) of nearly 40 BSF battalions are camping in forward areas of two states (Jammu and Punjab) so as to finish operation within 15 days and be at their bases by July 15. This is because after 15 July monsoon will unleash heavy rains and cut easy access to these locations.

To strengthen vigil along sensitive and infiltration-prone border, the Commanders of force have been asked to-

  • Prepare their watchtowers and sentry posts better
  • Multiple patrols
  • Strengthen artillery positions
  • Replenish arms and ammunition dumps
  • Check and plug border fence breaches
  • Make all operational and logistical arrangements
  • Detect underground and cross-border tunnels

About BSF

It was formed on 1 December 1965 in the wake of India-Pakistan 1965 War, for ensuring security of India’s borders and for matters connected there with.

Function: It is the country’s primary border defence organisation. It is responsible for guarding India’s land border during peacetime as well as preventing transnational crime.

It is a Government Agency under administrative control of Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It is one of the 7 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) of India and currently stands as world’s largest border guarding force.

Nagaland declared ‘Disturbed Area’ under AFSPA for 6 more months

Centre has declared entire State of Nagaland a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of 6 more months under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) with effect from 30 June 2019. The central government opinion was notified by Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Key Highlights

Background: AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland for several decades. On August 3, 2015 a framework agreement was signed by Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and central government in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi AFSPA but still even after it AFSPA was not withdrawn. This framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations in past 18 years.

Current Scenario: Central government declared whole of Nagaland to be a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months in exercise of its powers conferred by Section 3 of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958).

Government justified that area comprising entire State of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.

About AFSPA

Background

On passing of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Bill by both Houses of Parliament and approved by President on 11 September 1958 it became known as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958. This Act came into force in context of increasing violence in North-eastern States of India decades ago, which State governments found difficult to control.

Powers Given: It empowers security forces to maintain public order in ‘disturbed areas’. If reasonable suspicion exists, Armed forces have authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can conduct search operations anywhere without warrant, arrest anyone without warrant, ban possession of firearms among others.

Where necessary Union Ministry of Home Affairs would usually enforce this Act, but n exceptions exists where Centre decide to forego its power and leave decision to State governments.

What is disturbed area?

It is one which is declared by notification under Section 3 of AFSPA. It can be invoked in places where use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.

Central Government, or Governor of State concerned or administrator of Union Territory (UT) can declare whole or part of State or UT as a disturbed area.