How defunct CCTVs in Hyderabad are emboldening sexual predators

Monalisa filed a complaint hoping to hold the accused accountable. However, the police found that the CCTV had not been functional for approximately a year. The case has hit a dead end because of Hyderabad police's dysfunctional CCTV. There is no witness and no footage of the incident.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  4 May 2022 7:00 AM GMT
How defunct CCTVs in Hyderabad are emboldening sexual predators

Hyderabad: Monalisa was out for a walk at 11 pm on April 28. She usually goes walking every night at around 8 pm. But that day she was caught up with some work and had to delay it. At around 12:10 am on Apr 29, two men on their bikes came from behind and hit her hard in an inappropriate place.

"For almost 10 seconds, I froze. I was scared to hell. I took a quick scan and realized that I was the only one on the road," Monalisa said.

Monalisa filed a complaint hoping to hold the accused accountable. However, the police found that the CCTV had not been functional for approximately a year. The case has hit a dead end because of Hyderabad police's dysfunctional CCTV. There is no witness and no footage of the incident.

"I can't help but wonder where these predators would be and which women they are preying on," Monalisa said.

Earlier this week, Hyderabad Police announced that there are more than 7 lakh CCTVs in the city. However, when Monalisa was assaulted, the CCTV camera installed on the street was of no use.

B Monalisa works for a corporate company in Hitech City. The street she was walking on- her regular route, was behind WestInn, Madhapur. She lived in an apartment in Vittal Rao Nagar- on the road that connects Karachi Bakery in Madhapur.

"I have heard that in cases like these, the men run away instantly. But these two guys went ahead and turned their bikes back. When they began speeding, I picked up the biggest rock I could find. On seeing this, the two turned their bikes and fled," she said.

Monalisa immediately went home and dialed 100. Two policemen visited her in the next hour, wrote down her complaint, and left. She couldn't recognize the men's faces as they were wearing a helmet.

The following day Monalisa headed to Madhapur Police Station to file a complaint. "The police did not realize that the CCTV was working until my case had popped up," she said.

The lack of maintenance and regular checking of the functionality of CCTVs by the police has left the case unsolved. As a result, assaulters are roaming free.

The incident has shaken Monalisa. She is scared to step out of her house alone. "And you know what is more pathetic? When I share this incident with my friends and colleagues, the first thing they ask me is what I was wearing when the incident occurred," Monalisa said.

Balaraju, CCTV Admin at Madhapur Police Station said that it will take time to restore the CCTVs. "But we are checking with private CCTVs in the area as well. Those two men made some turns within the streets where there are no CCTVs but we tried to check all other CCTVs (private) in the area. Since we need approval for each footage from respective owners, it is taking some time," he said.

A week ago, Telangana DGP Mahender Reddy said the Telangana police are spearheading the use of the latest technology in India for NexGen policing. "Hyderabad has to be safe and secure if Telangana has to be safe. We are proud to say that Telangana police are adopting the new and latest technology to be prepared for NexGen policing. We have a friendly proactive government that has law and order in the state as its priority. In fact, we still remember the day when Telangana was formed in 2014. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao called a meeting of the police department and guided us to ensure the safety of every citizen irrespective of their origin, caste, and creed. He said the state cannot prosper without proper enforcement of law and order," he said.

He added that Telangana has the best surveillance system in the country with more than nine lakh CCTV cameras (7 lakh in Hyderabad alone) installed in the state. "We use the latest technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI), virtual reality, and data analytics and have solved sensational cases within 24 hours. We learned and imbibed the latest technology from industry partners. Industry in Telangana has been our greatest collaborator in teaching things," the DGP said.

Stephen Raveendra, the Cyberabad police commissioner, also said, "Proud to be part of the Telangana police which is at the forefront of adopting the latest technology. Hyderabad is becoming a global city. We need to be more proactive and Intelligence-led to govern multicultural societies with gender sensitivity. The Telangana government is investing heavily in upgrading police resources."

In a similar incident challenging the functionality of CCTV cameras installed in the city, an 84-year-old man, Narasimha Rao had gone missing on 30 April and is yet to be traced. An Alzheimer's patient, he often wandered around his house. He was last spotted at Suchitra on the CCTV cameras. It has been five days since the complaint was filed in Alwal, Karkhana, and Petbasheerbagh police stations but the police still haven't found him.

Next Story
Share it