MUMBAI: All the 17 railway police stations in the city have been brought under the surveillance of 50 sophisticated internet ready (IR) closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to keep a watch on the activities of the Government Railway Police (GRP).
The GRP was acting under the Bombay high court’s direction after the custodial death of a man in 2014.
The court had ruled that railway police stations be brought under electronic surveillance. Later, a site study was carried out by a joint team of technicians and GRP officers in this regard. The team identified spots —including police lock-up, station house and interrogation room — to install cameras.
Each police station has at least three cameras. Senior inspectors will have round-the-clock access to the footage, officials said. Once the virtual private network facility is functional, the officers will be able to access live footage on their mobile phones, said Madhukar Pandey, GRP commissioner.
“The places have been identified to keep a watch on police officials and complainants. Senior officers will monitor footage during their surprise visits to police stations,” he added.
There have been several complaints regarding the functioning of police after instances of custodial deaths.
In 2014, eight Wadala GRP officials were booked in connection with the custodial death of 24-year-old Agnelo Valdaris. Agnelo, along with three others, was picked up in a robbery case and was allegedly tortured to death during interrogation. The case was later transferred to the state crime investigation department for investigation.
The CCTV began functioning on June 1 as per the deadline issued by the high court and will have a 15-day backup.
This will bring more transparency in day-to-day working of the police and will act as a deterrent to wrongdoing.