CCTVs gone after Obama visit: Why can’t they be used for residents’ security, asks HC

  • Soibam Rocky Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 31, 2015 08:58 IST

The Delhi high court has slammed the Delhi Police and the government for removing CCTV cameras installed across the Capital for US President Barack Obama’s visit.

The HC on Friday questioned why the cameras could not be continued to be used for the security of citizens.

A division bench of Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva sought an action plan from the Delhi Police on where CCTV cameras could be “deployed” by “keeping in mind the crime mapping already done.”

The Delhi Police identified 44 ‘red-flagged’ areas in the city, after an extensive crime-mapping exercise, where the court had asked them to take immediate action in terms of better policing, gender sensitisation and public awareness programmes.

“If you can do it for the visiting heads of states, you can do it for women and children of the Capital who want safety,” the bench remarked.

The HC observation came after additional solicitor general general (ASG) Sanjay Jain submitted that the CCTV cameras installed across the city for Obama’s security visit during the 66th Republic Day celebrations were hired and have now been returned.

The ASG also told the court that about 850 CCTV cameras were installed and not 15,000 as stated in the petition.

Censuring double standards adopted by the government and the Delhi Police, the HC remarked, “If you can put CCTV cameras for one person, why not for the safety of thousands and lakh of women in Delhi?”

The court’s order came on advocate Meera Bhatia’s application asking for a direction to the government to not remove the CCTV cameras in a hurry as it had already spent a lot of money on installing them.

It fur ther slammed the Central government on “lack of progress” in creating additional posts in the Delhi Police.

“Nothing is improving. Crime is going from bad to worse,” the HC said directing the Centre and the Delhi Police to file a comprehensive report by March 13, the next date of hearing. The HC has been monitoring women’s safety in the Capital after the 2012 December 16 gang-rape incident.

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