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‘Fingerprint is not a big issue’: Hyderabad police on collecting biometrics of ‘suspects’

“The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) even gives us the right to kill. Fingerprint is not that big an issue,” said Mohammed Abdul Rasheed, ACP of Falaknuma police station. Police in Falaknuma, in Hyderabad, are asking for the facial data and fingerprints of people who they think might be potential criminals. MediaNama spoke to Rasheed and Syed Rafeeq, Additional DCP, South Zone, Hyderabad, to understand the provision under which the police is allowed to ask for people’s fingerprints. https://twitter.com/shofalaknuma/status/1177478935606464518 Isn’t it illegal to ask people to give you their biometric data? “How would you catch a criminal? A suspect, a criminal, is roaming around at 2 am in the night. Normal people don’t roam around at that time," Rasheed said. "Asking for someone’s fingerprints is just like asking for their name,” said Rasheed. How does the police think someone might be a suspect? Rafeeq said that the police, based on intuition, approaches people they think might be suspects. He also said that these are mostly young people. These “suspects” are then asked to verify if they are criminals or not by providing their fingerprints and facial data to the police. Is consent sought? These people “usually say yes” and the police considers this as verbal consent, Rafeeq said. In case someone chooses not to give their biometrics, the police has to get permission from the Magistrate, he added. However, Rasheed said that getting the Magistrate’s permission is not always a practical option. “If we catch someone at 3 am in…

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