Smriti spots camera hid in changing room; FIR registered
Panaji: Trying on clothes at an outlet of a reputed garment brand at Candolim village near here, a vigilant Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani today spotted a hidden camera positioned to record inside the small room, raising an alarm after which Goa Police registered a case against the staff for voyeurism.
Irani, on a visit to Goa, came across the camera when she was in the FabIndia showroom to buy clothes and immediately protested, alerting her husband, businessman Zubin Irani, said Superintendent of Police (North) Umesh Gaonkar.
She then called BJP legislator Micheal Lobo, who lodged an First Information Report (FIR).
“When we went switched on the camera, the entire video was recorded… This is mischief… Somebody has been watching the recordings,” the MLA said.
Footage from the camera, installed four months ago according to staff at the store, was being recorded in a computer in the manager’s office, Lobo said, confirming that it held many recordings of people changing in the trial room.
Calangute police, which searched the showroom after a complaint by Lobo, found a CCTV camera installed in the ventilation unit of the room.
Gaonkar said police have recorded statement of Irani.
“Irani’s statement has been recorded as a victim, along with another woman who had entered the room earlier,” he said.
Police have already sealed the shop and is inspecting the showroom.
A case has been filed under section 354 C (voyeurism) and 509 (intrusion into privacy) of Indian Penal Code against employees who were monitoring the cameras. We are analysing the entire data,” the SP said.
Gaonkar said that police have formed special team to inspect all the showrooms in the coastal belt to ensure that there are no CCTV cameras installed in changing rooms.
He said instructions will also be issued to all the police stations to form teams and inspect the changing rooms in their respective areas.
In Bangalore, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said, “Right now I’m in Bangalore for National Executive meet but I have been gieven to understand that Madam Smriti Irani had gone to Goa, and during her stay in Goa probably she went for some purchases in shop by name FabIndia.
“Suo moto case has been registered against the concerned person. We will take stringent action. Don’t worry we will take stringent action, case has been registered against the culprit. Through investigation would be done and the culprit will be taken to task.”
“I spoke to the police officer over there. It was reported that she had gone for changing of clothes and immediately she noticed that there was one hole in the room and beyond the hole one camera was hanging, so immediately came and complained. It was verified, it was confiscated, it was learned that it was functioning and case has been registered against the manager and the staff,” he said.