The investigations in crime journalist J Dey’s murder and the July 13 serial blasts were hampered due to the poor quality of footage procured from hawk eyes in the city.
In a move to improve the quality of such images, the state forensic science laboratory (FSL) at Kalina will soon procure a state-of-the-art equipment to retrieve, cleanse and enlarge low resolution close circuit television (CCTV) footage for crime investigation.
The crime branch officials investigating Dey’s murder and the July blasts had claimed that the images from the CCTV cameras were hazy, grainy, and dark, making it practically impossible to identify the accused or ascertain their physical features, which could have in any manner aided the probe.
With the acquisition of this equipment, the state FSL will become the second such laboratory in India equipped to aide crime investigation using this advanced technology.
Deputy director, FSL, (Ahmedabad), SB Khandelwal said, “The CCTV footage enhancing facility is presently only available at the laboratory in Gandhinagar.” Khandelwal added that setting up the facility at the Gujarat laboratory took almost a year to get approvals for installing such a state-of-the-art facility and it cost Rs2 crore approximately.
“The state home ministry has asked us to look into the cost and other requirements for setting up this facility, which will expand and improve upon footage captured by the CCTV cameras,” said a senior state forensic lab official.
The state home ministry recently said that the state will be improving the surveillance system by installing 5,000 CCTV cameras at 1,200 spots across the city. The facility at forensic lab will ensure that maximum utilisation is derived from these CCTVs, said an official.
The official added that there are instances when a crime may be caught on a CCTV camera, but it may have taken place at a distant end of the area under surveillance, giving a hazy footage. The images prove futile as there’s no clarity.
“In such instances, this technology will improve the quality of the footage, giving a better view of the person or incident irrespective of the fact how unclear the initial footage was,” he added.