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 Wednesday, 8 January, 2003, 05:07 GMT
India to test-drive identity cards
The Indian Government says it will test a proposed national identity-card scheme in selected districts of 13 states later this year.

It says the scheme will help it track down illegal foreign nationals who pose a security risk.

The decision was taken on Tuesday at an internal security meeting of state police, intelligence and other officials.

The Indian Government also said it would launch a special drive to deport about 20 million people of Bangladeshi origin who it says are illegal immigrants.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister, LK Advani strongly supported an official campaign, announced last month, to deport thousands of Pakistanis living illegally in India.

Speaking at the security conference, Mr Advani said immediate steps should be taken to identify illegal residents, locate them and expel them.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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