India has launched ‘Caught Me’ app to help catch illegal immigrants in the country, which has seen a sharp rise in the number of people leaving for Bangladesh.
The app, which will be available for free on the mobile and internet in India on Monday, is being launched by the government to help identify those who have crossed the border illegally and is also meant to provide information about the countries where they are trying to cross.
“It will be free to use the app, but it is not compulsory to register and we will take a look at the app and see how it works,” said Anjani Bhattacharya, the state-owned company that has partnered with the Indian Government.
The ‘Catching Me’ App was launched in October 2017, and has been widely used by the Indian government to catch people who try to cross the border into Bangladesh illegally.
The company, which is based in Bengaluru, has already caught around 200,000 people illegally in the last two months.
Bhattachary has told The Hindu that “this app is a huge boost for the police in the hunt for illegal immigrants and will help the police identify and apprehend them before they do any harm to the country”.
“The app has identified over 15,000 illegal migrants, who are already being apprehended,” he said.
According to data from the government, around 1,200 illegal migrants have crossed into Bangladesh, while nearly 7,000 have crossed illegally into India.
“This app is meant to be used by all police and district police and will be a vital tool to identify illegal migrants,” said Ajani Bhatchary, the app’s developer.
“We want to make sure that this app is not abused or misused.”
The app was launched as part of the National Action Plan to counter illegal migration by the police and the central government.
“The ‘Sri Lanka model’ is the key to tackling illegal migration,” said an official from the Home Ministry, who did not wish to be identified.
“It is a model that the central and state governments are trying very hard to implement across the country.”
While the app is being rolled out in Bengaluros, other states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are also testing it.
In 2016, around 5,000 Bangladeshi nationals were caught crossing into India illegally, and the government had launched a programme to register them and provide them with legal status.
The government has also launched the ‘Gujarat model’ in which it has set up a task force to identify and deport illegal migrants.