Chinese living in Xinjiang's Ili need to provide DNA samples for travel documents
[Representational Image] Chinese living in Xinjiang's Yili will need to provide DNA samples for travel documents. Picture: A man looks up as he lines up with other passengers and waits for a security check during morning rush hour at Tiantongyuan North Station in Beijing May 27, 2014. Beijing tightened security checks at subway stations since last Saturday, following an attack in China's troubled Xinjiang region which killed 31 people on May 22, the deadliest act of violence in the region in years.Reuters

The Chinese government has reportedly asked the residents of Yili in Xinjiang, on the China-Kazakhstan border, to submit their DNA samples, fingerprints, voice recordings and three-dimensional image in addition to other documents while submitting applications for the issuance of travel documents.

The rules are primarily applicable to residents of Yili or the Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in China travelling to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and has been implemented on June 1, reported Reuters, citing the Communist Party's Yili Daily newspaper.

The Yili Daily did not mention the official reason behind the implementation of these rules. The move is reportedly being seen as a precaution at the outset of Ramadan. Security in the region was increased even before the Islamic festival began this week.

Also, Ramadan is reportedly considered a sensitive period in Xinjiang. Hundreds of people in the region have been killed in several attacks in the last few years. Beijing claims the militants of the Uighur ethnic group, who practise Islam, were behind the attacks, for which they receive funds from terror groups outside China, BBC reported. The minority group has refuted these allegations.

Instead, several Muslim residents in Xinjiang have alleged religious discrimination by the authorities and claimed they face difficulty in getting travel documents. Beijing has, however, rejected the claims. Uighurs account for 45 percent of the population of Xinjiang.

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