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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

CCTV cameras installed but never switched on

Yogesh Joshi, Hindustan Times  Pune, August 02, 2012
First Published: 14:16 IST(2/8/2012) | Last Updated: 11:40 IST(3/8/2012)

It could have been a vital lead to crack Wednesday's serial blasts in Pune. But failure to keep the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at Dena bank and near the McDonald's outlet - two of the blast sites - functional, proved costly. Four low-intensity bomb blasts in quick succession shook Pune within 45 minutes, and injured one person.

Bomb planters chose a spot near the Dena bank to place the explosive device. The bomb was planted on a bicycle placed against the pole that has a CCTV camera installed on the top of 6it. Sadly, however, the camera was never activated after being installed two-and-a-half-years ago by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

The PMC thought it was the job of the police to monitor various CCTV cameras in the city and the police thought vice versa. In the process, all the cameras installed are merely serving as decorative pieces.

On Thursday, Maharashtra home minister RR Patil said in Mumbai that the police had received "sufficient" CCTV footage from the cameras set up by private shops. He, however, refused to comment on the non-functional ones set up by the Pune administration.

During February 2010 German bakery blast too, CCTV cameras on the north-main road were non-functional, as a result of which police faced difficulties.

"Had the Dena bank CCTV camera been working, investigators could have easily got some footage based on which they could have reached the bomb planters," said Vikas Mathkari, PMC corporator on Thursday.

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