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Special machines at airports to check passports


New Delhi : The home ministry has installed state-of-the-art machines at all international airports to check the authenticity of passports so that human trafficking can be curbed.

“In order to check the veracity of passports, we use magnifying glasses and ultraviolet lamps have been installed at all international airports. The central government has also undertaken issuance of machine readable passports, which are more secure,” said Radhika V. Selvi, minister of state for home, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha Tuesday.

“Moreover, Passport Reading Machines (PRMs) and Questionable Document Examiner (QDX) machines have been installed at all major international airports. Specific training is also imparted to immigration officers to detect forged/false documents,” Selvi added.

Member of Parliament Babubhai Katara was caught April 18, 2007 while trying to take a woman Paramjeet Kaur and one child Amarjeet Singh to Canada on the passports issued in the name of his wife Sharda Ben Babu Bhai Katara and son Rajesh Babu Bhai Katara.

Delhi Police have registered two cases and arrested nine persons, including five travel agents in this regard.

Several passports were recovered during the searches conducted at the home of the Bhartiya Janata Party MP from Gujarat.

“In order to check trafficking of children, the Ministry of Home Affairs has set up a nodal cell to coordinate matters relating to trafficking in human beings between the state governments, union territory administrations and other related ministries and organise coordination meetings to review and sensitise police officers on the subject,” Selvi told the Lok Sabha.

The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), which comes under the MHA, has also prepared a training manual on “Human Trafficking Handbook for Investigators” for use in the police training institutes.

“The BPR&D is organising regional anti-trafficking workshops for sensitising police personnel towards the safety and security of women. Several workshops have been held in various cities till date,” Selvi added.

Moreover, at the central level, a central advisory committee is monitoring implementation of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act, 1956 that comes under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.