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Delhi Police special cell leaves Jama Masjid area without CCTV surveillance

Delhi Police special cell leaves Jama Masjid area without CCTV surveillance
Following the arrest of Shah, and the subsequent controversy on whether he was an active or a surrendered militant, Delhi Police seems to have gone overboard in trying to draw up a terror trail.

According to enquiries made by this reporter on Wednesday, a special cell team took away CCTV servers from hotels and lodges in the Jama Masjid area for examining the recorded footage. This has, in the absence of servers, rendered CCTV recording non-functional, causing major security breach in the sensitive area, which has been targeted several times in the past by terror groups.

This reporter visited many guest houses over two days namely Haji Arafat, Rest in, Basheer, Nawab, Aijiz, Shiraz guest house and many more. Though the guest houses have CCTV cameras installed on all floors, no recording was being done in the absence of the DVR systems, which have been taken away by the sleuths from the special cell.

‘The hotels from where DVR system have been taken away include Haji Arafat Guest house from where the cops had seized an AK-56 rifle with two magazines (30 rounds of ammunition each), three hand grenades, explosives and some maps of the Jama Masjid area from the information given by Liyaqat from the room believed to have been rented to a Hizbul Mujahideen cadre,’ an official in special cell confirmed.

Owner of one of the guest houses in Jama Masjid, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘A team of special cell approached us and presented us a memo asking us to agree to part with CCTV servers for a fortnight as they had to examine the footage.’

When Millennium Post asked an official firm the cell why this was done, he said a team was indeed made to gather all the CCTV servers from each and every hotel located in the area. ‘So far, the recording systems of 22 hotels have been taken into possession and sent to CFSL for examination,’ he said. ‘In addition to collecting the hard-disk of the CCTV cameras, the servers were also taken away to avoid any blame game in future. Many a times rival investigating agencies probing a case make allegations that footages have been tampered with. This also leads to courts rejecting such footages as evidence,’ he added.

Another owner requesting anonymity said, ‘We had suggested to the officials to take away only the hard-disks but they refused to do so.’ He added that few days back when he was called at the special cell office in South Delhi’s Lodi Colony, he told officials that in the absence of recording system, none of the hotels were able to record the CCTV footages, but to no avail.
Chayanika Nigam

Chayanika Nigam

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