Let us make the space we share better and bring the change we desire. Author is Indian Muslim, a Public Figure, Social Activist, Blogger and Media Personality. On mission to build a givers world rather than takers.
In a shocking incident, Smriti Irani, Union Minister for HRD, found CCTV cameras focused on her while she was trying out some clothes at upmarket boutique chain Fabmart’s outlet at Candolim on Friday afternoon.
The CCTV camera was installed high up on a wall just outside the trial room and the lens was focused into the trial room through a foot-high ventilation gap on the side of the trial room cubicle.
Smriti Irani immediately rushed out of the cubicle and, raising an alarm, informed her husband who confronted the staff and demanded that they show the CCTV footage. On checking the footage, it was found that the upper portion of the minister’s body had been recorded while she was in the process of trying out some clothes.
Her husband then informed Calangute BJP MLA Michael Lobo. Calangute police and Lobo immediately rushed to the boutique where PI Nilesh Rane recorded Irani’s statement. The minister soon left the store and went to her hotel in Baga where she is staying on a two-day private holiday. The incident occurred at 12.42 pm.
“This is nonsense. This is happening all over. There are people who take videos of you like this when your body is exposed and then try to defame you,” Smriti Irani is reported to have said to MLA Lobo and the police.
On checking the CCTV footage, the police found that the camera had been taking videos of the women in the cubicle for the last four months and the upper body portion of women is visible. MLA Lobo lodged a complaint on behalf of the union minister with the Calangute police who have registered an offence under section 354 C IPC. The CCTV camera equipment has been attached by the police.
“It’s quite sad and bad. We can see people removing their clothes. This is invasion of a person’s privacy,” Lobo said. Police were recording the statements of staff till late afternoon.
Fabindia staff said the CCTV cameras had been installed because there have been a number of thefts in the boutique by tourists. “They go inside the trial rooms with four items and come out with three items and make away with an item by concealing it under their clothes. Just last week we caught a Russian tourist red-handed. When the items disappear the cost is deducted from the staff salaries,” a staffer said.
A number of BJP leaders rushed to the spot. Besides North Goa BJP president Michael Lobo, BJP Mahila chief Kundan Chodankar, BJP vice-president Sadanand Tanavade, Sanquelim MLA Pramod Sawant and others also rushed to the spot.
“This is not right. You can very clearly see the top part of the body,” Tanavade, who viewed the CCTV footage, said.