Headley goof-up prompts tighter norms for visa

Union home ministry aims to plug loopholes in immigration process

  To this end, all the 169 Indian Missions across the globe, 77 immigration check-posts (ICPs), and the Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) or Foreigners Registration Offices (FROs) in the country will be linked up with a Central Foreigners Bureau (CFB).
The goof-up in granting visas by the Indian Consulate in Chicago, United States, to David Headley, the American-born Pakistani terror accused, had created a major flutter in the diplomatic and security establishments in India.

The consul-general had drawn flak for not running a check on Headley’s antecedents before issuing visa clearance. Headley had made five spying trips to India during 2006-08.
The Union home ministry had then issued a missive that visa for those born in the neighbouring countries should not be issued without consulting it.

This proposed project will also help in detecting forgery of passports and visas in respect of Indians and foreigners at the airports. Mumbai topped the list of airports where forgery of passport and visa by Indians was reported with 435 cases in 2010, while Delhi with 415 came next.

The comparable figures for fogeigners were 177 and 77 for Mumbai and Delhi respectively. Bangalore airport reported only four cases of foreigners with forged passport or visa.
Officials said the installation of the Immigration Control System (ICS) Software which verifies the passport details of passengers to prevent impersonation had brought down the number of forgeries.

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