India, US sign pact on sharing data on terrorists

India-US pact on data sharing of terrorists

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, the Home Ministry has signed a pact with the US to join the global terror database maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC). Mr Modi is scheduled to make a two-day visit to the US from June 7-8.

“An arrangement between the authorised governmental agencies of the Government of India and the Government of the United States of America for exchange of terrorist screening information was signed here today. The arrangement was signed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and Richard Verma, Ambassador of the United States of America to India,” the Home Ministry said in a press statement on June 2.

The US has already entered into similar agreements with 30 countries.  The Terrorist Screening Center has details of 11,000 terror suspects on its database. The details in the database include nationality, date of birth, photos, finger prints (if any) and passport number of the suspects. 

As per the agreement, the two sides will give each other access to terrorism screening information through designated contact points which are subject to domestic laws and regulations.

The proposal was initially made by the US in 2012. However, it made little progress after objections raised by Indian security agencies. The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) had raised concerns about giving the US unhindered access to the database of terror suspects in India.

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