Goa cops suspect Fabindia employee angled camera to face trial room

  • Manish K Pathak, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 06, 2015 09:08 IST

The Goa Police have zeroed in on a suspect who they believe had changed the angle of a CCTV lens to face a trial room at a Goa Fabindia outlet Union minister Smriti Irani visited on Friday.

The suspect was among four people arrested after Irani accused the store of setting up the CCTV camera overlooking the changing room, where she was trying out some clothes.

Police officials said Fabindia had outsourced the work of installing CCTV cameras in the outlet to an agency around four months ago. "During the investigation, we have found that as per the layout plan submitted by the technician of the agency, the direction of the lens was not towards the changing room," said Karthik Kashyap, superintendent of police of the crime branch.

He confirmed that the direction of the lens was changed by the suspect but he refused to reveal the any name as it would hamper the ongoing investigation . "As per the preliminary investigation, it has appeared that all the arrested suspects were aware about the direction of the lens pointing towards the changing room," another police officer said on condition of anonymity.

The police have not yet cleared any of the four people who were arrested and later released on bail.

Kashyap said they found the camera recorder had captured other women changing in the room. "We have sent the DVR (recorder) to the forensic lab for further examination," he added. The police also want to question the manager of the store who is not to be found and she has approached a local court for anticipatory bail, officials said.

Irani was on a two-day visit to Goa during which she had gone to the store for shopping. BJP MLA Michael Lobo had filed a complaint on behalf of Irani at Calangute police station after the incident came to light.

Based on the FIR, the police arrested four accused -- Paresh Bhagat, Raju Payanachi, Prashant Naik and Karim Lakhani. The four were later granted bail by the court.

The Goa Police said "other victims" would be called for recording their statements. "We will book and punish everybody involved in the case," inspector general of police Sunil Garg said.

"We are examining the CCTV footage retrieved from the store and all other victims will also be called for recording statements," Garg said.

Fabindia issued a formal apology to Irani on Saturday but denied any wrongdoing on its part.

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