An externed history-sheeter, who violated his externment order and was detected through the newly-launched ExTra app of Pune City Police, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for the violation.
On June 30, Pune City Police had registered a case of externment violation against Shankar Babu Kailash Pandhekar (23), after the breach was detected by the application, a spin-off of the geolocation-based tool used for tracking those in home quarantine for Covid-19.
Pandhekar, who has multiple offences registered against him, including serious body offences, was ordered to be externed in the past by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 5) Suhas Bawache. On June 30, he was caught by the app violating the conditions of externment, after he entered Pune jurisdiction. A system alert for geo-fence breach was sent to the concerned police station and Preventive Actions Cell of Pune City Police. On verification, an offence was registered against him.
After registration of the offence and investigation, a chargesheet was submitted to the court by investigating officer, Sub-Inspector Dattatray Kale of Bibvewadi police station. On Thursday, the court of Judicial Magistrate M A Shaikh sentenced Pandhekar to four months’ imprisonment and six months of imprisonment under two different sections pertaining to violation of the externment order. The sentences will run concurrently.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Bachchan Singh said, “This is the first ever conviction for violation of the externment, which has been detected through the ExTra app. Digital surveillance using ExTra app helps police keep an effective watch on externed criminals since auto-alerts are created through the application on breach of geo-fence. The alerts are sent to the police station, zonal DCPs and the Crime Branch. Once verified, the offences are registered by the police station, and further legal course is taken.”
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 have been asked to remain in home quarantine. Pune City police had operationalised ExTra in the second week of June.
The application requires the externed criminal to download the ExTra app and do a one-time registration on 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.
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