New anti-terror step: Cyber café users to submit photo | delhi | Hindustan Times
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New anti-terror step: Cyber café users to submit photo

As their latest anti-terror step, especially in view of forthcoming Republic Day celebrations, Delhi police have now made it mandatory for city-based cyber café owners to seek photo proof from their customers wanting to avail of Internet facility, reports Abhishek Sharan.

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2009 23:16 IST
Abhishek Sharan

As their latest anti-terror step, especially in view of forthcoming Republic Day celebrations in the National Capital, Delhi police have now made it mandatory for city-based cyber café owners to seek photo proof from their customers wanting to avail of Internet facility.

Until now, a cyber café user seeking to browse the Internet was required to only submit a verifiable identity proof—having necessary personal details including an attested copy of the user’s photograph in any case. But the recent police order, issued by Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal, in effect means a cyber café user now ends up submitting his photo proof twice during a visit.

The latest requirement has allegedly “inconvenienced” regular cyber café users. “I can understand why I might need to submit my identity proof but another photo proof? The ID card has my photograph duly verified by my employer,” said Vikas Garg, a 23-year-old trainee graphic designer.

Garg recounted bitterly how he was allegedly denied access to a Lajpat Nagar cyber café on Friday since he was not carrying his “passport-sized photo.” “May be the café owner was not at a fault, but I could not do my urgent work,” he said.

Anuj Chopra, who runs Sunshine Cyber café in Connaught Place, told HT, “Since last week, three policemen have told me I should comply with the requirements. So I had to politely say no to a few patrons since they were not carrying their photographs.”

While a few Internet café owners insisted the onus of furnishing the photo proof lies with users, a senior police official told HT that the former should do the needful themselves and “not trouble the users instead.”

Delhi police’s spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said “We have directed cyber café owners, as part of our counter-terror preparedness, to keep a photo proof of their users, apart from their identity proof. But the cyber café owners should use their web-cams to photograph their customers.”