New Delhi police uses face-recognition software to identify protesters

indica News Bureau-

To identify protesters at the anti-CAA rallies and protests, the Indian police has started using a facial- recognition software acquired by them in 2018, to find missing children.

The Indian Express newspaper reported, citing people it didn’t identify that the app was being used to screen the crowds to identify the people who protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act which discriminated among people on religious grounds.

It was the first time that the software was used at a political rally for identifying and punishing the protesters. The software was first used on December 22, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended the new contentious law in New Delhi. Police in the Indian capital have started feeding footage of ongoing protests to the software to filter out “habitual protesters” and “rowdy elements,” according to the report.

The report comes amid numerous incidents of police brutality on protesters in various parts of the country, leading to 25 fatalities and countless injuries and detentions. PM Modi called out to protesters on December 25 saying they were mislead and were engaging in destruction of property. He asked them to “sit at home and ask themselves if their path was right.”

Reports by The Indian Express may spark fears that the state is using the police to prevent democratic protests against a law that bars undocumented Muslims from three neighboring nations seeking Indian citizenship, but allows people of other faiths to do so.

Police in New Delhi — controlled by central government — have access to “extensive archival videography and behavior analysis”, the daily cited as statement of an unidentified spokesperson. The police fed the footage of the protests to the face-recognition software to identify the protesters after receiving intelligence of possible disruptions at Modi’s rally, the report said, citing the spokesperson.