India to introduce fingerprint system (NAFIS) to identify criminals

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By December this year, police forces across the country would be able to get the benefits of a unique “real-time” criminal identification system — National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) — which will collect fingerprints of over 80 lakh criminals in the country and put in place a robust web-based system to identify them.

Almost all the necessary infrastructure are in place to implement the Central government’s long-pending project, which will help in identifying criminals based on their fingerprints. A few pending works will be completed by the end of next month.

A National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) official privy to the development told IANS that NAFIS will be launched in December this year after the completion of some pending installations of a fingerprint machine at the “district and commissionerate” level in each state to identify the fingerprints of criminals.

Though the official didn’t disclose any particular date, he said the project might be launched before the third week of December.

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On the lines of the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US, the NCRB is hosting the system and implementing it on a turnkey basis, selecting solution providers through a bidding process.

India’s NCRB will allocate separate space for each state at the NAFIS centre. Each state will have complete control over its data, while read-only permission will be given to the other states.

Provisions will be made for the states which already have AFIS to share their data with NAFIS using a bridge software without disturbing their operations. NAFIS will be installed at the NCRB and the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) connectivity will be used to provide access to all the users.

NAFIS will enhance the ability to discern crime patterns and modus operandi across states in India and communicate with the state police departments to assist in crime prevention, NCRB Director Ramphal Pawar said.

Pawar said that “NAFIS will be a game-changer in partnership with NCRB”.

While digitally inaugurating the 21st All India Conference of Directors, Fingerprint Bureau 2020 on Tuesday, Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy also emphasised on the importance of fingerprints.

Reddy said a fingerprint is an essential tool because of its uniqueness, permanency, individuality and ease in acquisition.

He added that digitisation of records and fingerprint data is an important step forward in documenting and tracking crime and criminals and expressed his confidence that the “fully computerised NAFIS would soon become functional and benefit the police forces”.

IANS

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