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Developed from tool to track home-quarantined residents, app catches man who violated externment order

The facial recognition and geolocation-based application ExTra is a spin-off of the Home Quarantine Tracking System (HQTS), used initially by Pune Police and Maharashtra Police to monitor people who had been asked to remain in home quarantine.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published: July 1, 2020 12:11:23 am
Pune City police, home quarantine, Pune news, Maharashtra news, Indian express news Pune City police had operationalised ExTra in the second week of June. (Representational)

Pune police on Tuesday registered a case of externment violation against a person with a criminal record, after his breach of order was detected by newly-launched application ExTra, a spin-off of the geolocation-based tool used for tracking home- quarantined persons.

The facial recognition and geolocation-based application ExTra (Externees monitoring and Tracking system) is a spin-off of the Home Quarantine Tracking System (HQTS), used initially by Pune Police and Maharashtra Police to monitor people who had been asked to remain in home quarantine. Pune City police had operationalised ExTra in the second week of June.

A history-sheeter named Shankar Babu Kailash Pandhekar, who was ordered to be externed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 5) Suhas Bawache, entered Pune jurisdiction, and was tracked by the app as violating the conditions of externment.

“A system alert for geo-fence breach was sent to the police station concerned and preventive actions cell. On verification, an offence was registered against the historysheeter.” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Bachchan Singh.

The application requires the externed person to download the ExTra app and do a one-time registration with a mobile phone. The concerned police authority then approves the registration, after which the externee is required to mark attendance through a selfie at an indicated time or on a surprise notification. The person’s selfie, associated geo-location and time of attendance is tracked through Artificial Intelligence algorithms. Real-time alerts are raised if the uploaded selfie does not match the registered face or if the virtual geo-fence around Pune city is breached.

The Maharashtra Police Act empowers the police officer of deputy commissioner of police (DCP) or superintendent of police (SP) rank to extern a criminal from their jurisdiction if there is reasonable belief that the said person can pose a danger to law and order, based on their past record.

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