Millennium Post

Many cyber café owners in crowded Paharganj market flout rules, don’t ask for ID proof

Enter any cyber café in the crowded Paharganj market, which is popular especially among tourists, and you will neither be asked to furnish your ID proof, nor pen down the details in a log book. 

Of the several cyber cafés, dotting the market in Central Delhi near the New Delhi Railway station, Millennium Post found the owners of five such set-ups vehemently flouting the guidelines. 

At a time when the national Capital is on high-alert and security is being intensified, the callous attitude of cyber café owners – not maintaining a log of the customers visiting their facilities – pose a grave threat to safety.

Though many cafes do not ask the users to furnish the necessary details, owners claim that they are equipped with CCTV cameras. 

The Information Technology Act, 2011, states: “A cyber café shall not allow any user to use its computer resource without the identity of the user being established. The intending user may establish his identify by producing a document, which shall identify him/her to the satisfaction of the cyber café.”

As usual, Paharganj market was brimming with tourists on Wednesday afternoon too. After walking through the congested street, one can spot small cyber cafés running on the bylanes near a masjid.

At Muskaan Internet café, it was observed that a customer was neither asked to produce an ID proof (PAN card, Aadhaar card, school/college ID card etc), nor was he asked to register his personal details in a log book for a good half-an-hour. 

One can easily sneak into these cyber cafés and access the Internet by paying Rs 20 for 30 minutes. “A number of college students and tourists, mostly foreigners, come here to surf the Internet or take printouts. We are a registered café and follow all rules,” claimed Dilip, the café owner.

His employee Ravinder  said so far they had not come across any user indulging in suspicious activities at the café.

On being asked if the police carried out regular checks on cyber cafés in the area, Arvind, owner of another cyber café, said: “Policemen come here often. If we find anything suspicious about a user, we inform the police right away.”

On October 29, 2005, a bomb blast had rocked the Paharganj main market. The other two blasts took place in South Delhi's Sarojini Nagar market and a bus in Southeast Delhi's Govindpuri. Around 62 people had lost their lives in the blasts and over 100 others were injured.
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