Assam's new IT system to track illegal foreigners

Assam prepares IT system to track geographical location of illegal foreigners

The system will record their iris and fingerprints so as to track their movements and initiate action, officials said

Representative picture. Credit: AFP Photo

The Assam government will soon launch an IT system having biometric details of suspected and declared foreigners illegally living in the state, which would also enable the law enforcement agencies to track the geographical location of illegal foreigners. 

The system, being prepared by Assam Police Border Organisation, seeks to replace the present manual process of tracking, identification and processing cases of illegal foreign nationals. This will also be used to notify officials for denial of government services to the declared foreigners. 

The system, according to officials, will address the problem the state police faces while tracking the declared foreigners or suspected foreigners for initiating action, including deportation to neighbouring Bangladesh. 

"Several illegal migrants from Bangladesh have been sent back since 2016 after their details were shared with the neighbouring country and their addresses verified. But it has been found that a large number of suspected foreigners have gone into hiding fearing similar action. So the online system will definitely help us tackle this problem as it will track the geographical location of the suspected or declared foreigners based on their biometric details such as iris and fingerprints," a senior Assam government official said.

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The Assam government, on December 22, told the Assembly that a total of 142,206 illegal migrants have been identified, of which only 29,663 were deported till December 15 this year. Illegal migration from neighbouring Bangladesh has been a problem for long in Assam.

The IT system will be part of the electronic Foreigner Tribunals (eFT) project of Assam Police. The eFT seeks to build a database of suspected and declared illegal foreign migrants with important data such as iris and fingerprints. It also plans automation of border police, foreigner tribunals, transit camps for detection till deportation and smooth, secure and accurate data transfer.

It will share the eFT data with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System, Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS), besides others, for national-level searches. "This will help us notify authorities to deny government services and social scheme benefits to illegal foreigners," a document tabled in the Assembly on December 22 stated.

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