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Pakistan to install tracking chips in terror suspects

world Updated: Jul 12, 2015 01:17 IST

Pakistan plans to install ‘tracking chips’ in the feet of 1,600 terror suspects in the Punjab province by the end of this month to monitor their movements.

The terror suspects have been placed under Fourth Schedule of Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 that lists all the known suspects belonging to banned militant or sectarian groups who could pose a threat to public peace and security.

“For the first time in the country’s history, the law enforcement agencies will start ‘electronic surveillance’ of 1,600 terror suspects by installing a tracking device at their ankles (commonly known as ankle-band) to monitor their movements,” a senior official from Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department said.

“We have bought the tracking devices from a couple of countries and the installation process will begin by the end of this month,” the official said.

The use of this modern technology would not only help the law enforcement agencies to keep an eye on the suspects’ movements but also help reach bigger terrorists, he said.

The government decided to install the ‘ankle-band’ after reports that a number of high-profile members of the banned groups were flouting its order to stay in a restricted area.

Militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi chief Malik Ishaq, who was on the Proscribed List, reportedly managed to leave the country for Saudi Arabia for a religious ritual, Umrah, in the past without the permission of the government.

Under the law, a suspect of the Fourth Schedule may leave the ‘restricted area’ only with the government’s permission.