Face tech behind Delhi riots arrests: ‘Accused told to match pose’

IN A first, the Delhi Police used the Facial Recognition System (FRS) to arrest and “confirm” the presence of several accused at the site of the Jahangirpuri riots that took place four months ago — and the images will be presented as evidence in court. Of the 37 chargesheeted, over 25 accused have been produced so far at the Forensic Science Lab (FSL) in Rohini to match CCTV visuals using FRS, The Indian Express has learnt.
During the Northeast Delhi riots in 2020, the police had used FRS to make arrests but were later pulled up by the Central Information Commission for not furnishing details about the technology’s accuracy and how it was used. Police sources said not many details were shared at the time since the system was “only used” to make “a few arrests” and not as “evidence” in the courts.
This time, sources said, the Crime Branch used FRS with permission from the local court. The Jahangirpuri clashes broke out on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti in April, leading to injuries to 8-9 persons including police personnel.
While initial arrests in the case were made by the police in Northwest district, the Crime Branch used FRS to make further arrests. DCP Vichitra Veer (Crime Branch) said, “With the permission of the court, the accused persons were photographed through FSL to match against the available video footage.”
Explaining the procedure, a senior police officer said, “The footage recovered from the lanes of Jahangirpuri were of good quality and helped us in identifying people. To confirm their presence, we took permission from the court and took the accused to the FSL in Rohini. Their footage was pulled up and they were asked to pose in the same manner as they were found in the footage. This helped us in making successful arrests.”