Pune police use drones to track home-quarantined persons

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Pune police to use drones as surveillance measure on home quarantined persons. (File photo)

The Pune police is using technology-driven tools like drones for surveillance and facial recognition-based applications for tracking home-quarantined persons.

Despite strict enforcement of the lockdown, a fraction of people are still choosing to leave their house for non-emergency reasons, police said.

"One of the effective ways to identify areas of high number of violations of lockdown is aerial surveillance. We have asked local police stations to use drones for this purpose. With drones we can identify low compliance areas and take necessary action. We are exploring possible use of drones for making public announcements in certain areas," said Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisve.

Pune police has also started using the Maharashtra Home Quarantine Tracking System (MH HQTS), a telephone-based application, to monitor persons who have been home-quarantined. Shisve said, "The home quarantined person is asked to download the application on his or her phone and at regular intervals, they have to click a picture of themselves. The tracking system uses a facial recognition programme and location tracking, ensuring the person is at home or otherwise."

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police (crime) Bachchan Singh said a total of 3,665 digital passes have been issued till now to people seeking exemption from lockdown.

Most of these passes are for medical reasons, senior citizens and supply of essential commodities, which have been approved on priority basis. From March 27, when Pune residents were asked to apply online for getting exemption passes, they have received a total of 44,430 requests, Singh said.

13 booked after 50 gather for namaaz on building terrace

Thirteen people were booked after 50 people gathered for namaaz on the terrace of a building in Chikhli, Pimpri-Chinchwad on Friday afternoon, despite orders prohibiting assembly of five or more people in one place.

An FIR was registered at Chikhli police station on Saturday.

Between 1.30 pm and 2 pm, at least 50 persons had gathered for Namaz on the terrace of a private building in Vimannagar in Pune area on Friday.