Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani lodged a complaint with the Goa Police on Friday after spotting a camera allegedly pointing towards the trial room at a Fabindia outlet in Candolim.
Local BJP MLA Michael Lobo, who was called to the spot by Irani, claimed the camera was installed four months ago and had recorded several people, including Irani, trying on clothes inside the changing room.
The police have arrested four employees of the garment store.
“At 12.45 pm, I received a call from Irani informing me about the incident. I rushed to the outlet and learnt that the store manager was on leave. I called the local police who reached by 1 pm. We combed around two-three minutes of the footage and saw what happened inside the trial room when Irani visited it. The footage was very disturbing. This is against the dignity of a woman, therefore I immediately lodged a complaint with the local police,” Lobo told The Indian Express.
According to Lobo, camera number 4, fitted on one of the beams of the showroom’s ceiling, had an adjustable lens which was pointing towards trial room number 3, where Irani went to try on some garments.
“The lens could be adjusted and I feel somebody intentionally directed it to point inside the trial room. We have learnt that the camera was installed four months ago and has recorded many other women clients,” he added.
“From the level of stomach till above, everything was getting recorded… This is mischief… Somebody has been watching the recording,” Lobo told PTI.
Irani is on a two-day holiday with her family to Goa. As soon as she spotted the camera, she raised an alarm and alerted her husband Zubin Irani, who was with her at the time. Subsequently, a complaint was lodged by Lobo at the Calangute police station on behalf of Irani.
“Goa is a tourist destination. It is flocked by international tourists and an incident like this will bring disrepute to the place, so I have asked the police to check other stores in the locality as well,” Lobo said.
The police have recorded Irani’s statement. “We have arrested four staffers under section 354 of the IPC and certain sections of the Information Technology Act, 1995. The four have been arrested for installing a camera at a hidden location,” Sunil Garg, Inspector General of Police, Goa, said.The accused will be produced in a local court on Saturday.
Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said stringent action would be taken against those found guilty.
“We will be questioning all the top bosses of Fabindia, including their CEO and MD (William Bissell) tomorrow,” Karthik Kashyap, SP of Goa Crime Branch, told PTI.
Bissell said there are security cameras in all stores but “they cannot see what is happening inside the trial room”.
With inputs from PTI.