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16 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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POLICE VERIFICATION for MRPs

Smart NID holders to get ‘exemption’

DEEPAK ACHARJEE
Smart NID holders to get ‘exemption’

Those who have Smart National Identity Cards (NID) are likely to get machine readable passports (MRPs) without the police verification report soon. The Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP) has written to the Security Service Division of the home ministry recently. The ministry's permission has been sought to issue MRPs without the police verification report, sources in the ministry and DIP said.

The letter, signed by DIP director (passport, visa and inspection) Md Saidur Rahman, says: “The Bangladesh government has introduced and supplied smart NID cards to most of the citizens with fingerprints and scanned image of the retina and iris. During MRP enrolment, fingerprints of an applicant are needed. This is why DIP can issue MRPs without the police verification report.”

“At present, the DIP authorities are facing various complexities to issue an MRP for not getting the police verification report in time,” the letter adds.

DIP has made the move at a time when a number of people have been seriously inconvenienced by the delay in obtaining new passports because of the lengthy process of police verification.

Quoting the existing passport law, the letter says: “After MRP enrolment, we (DIP) asked the Special Branch (SB) of the police department to send the police verification report within 15 days for a normal passport and seven days for an emergency one. But sometimes, the SB fails to send the police verification report to DIP in time, thus creating problems for the passport holders.”

To ease the situation, DIP requested the secretary of the Security Service Division of the home ministry to issue a gazette notification in this regard soon.

A senior official of the Security Service Division told this correspondent that they will hold a meeting as soon as possible to consider the proposal of DIP.

In 2012, there was a move by then principal secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Shaikh Md Wahid Uz Zaman, to issue MRPs without the police verification report to hasten the process. But nothing came of it.

Wahid uz Zaman held a meeting and it was

decided that the SB should submit the police verification report to DIP within seven working days in case of emergencies and 15 working days for regular applicants. This is the practice at present.

New passport-seekers are thronging various passport offices in districts and regional offices, and even in the capital, in search of their passports. But they are going back empty-handed and frustrated as they do not know when their passports would be issued, sources said.

A high-ranking official of the passport department said they have not been able to issue passports to at least 50,000 applicants for MRPs because police verification reports have not been provided within the stipulated time.

“As a result, a large number of people are facing delay in joining their overseas jobs,” he added.

A new passport is supposed to be issued within 15 days for a fee of Tk. 3,000; in case of an emergency, it is to be issued in seven days for a fee of Tk. 6,000.

A senior official of the passport department said at least 1.80 crore MRPs have been issued till date.

MRPs were introduced on April 1, 2010 to accelerate clearance and improve security for travellers.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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