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India

In A First, All Chandigarh Police Stations, Lock-ups, Interrogation Rooms Under CCTV

In July 2021, after SC directive, an advisory was issued to all UTs & states to install CCTVs at police stations across India.

Image shows locked prison cell. Image used for representational purposes. (Courtesy: Pexels)

Chandigarh: To ensure that there is no third-degree torture, illegal confinement and harassment of complainants, CCTV cameras have been installed in all the 16 police stations in Chandigarh. With this, Chandigarh becomes the first city in the country to have CCTVs installed in all the police stations. The home secretary of Chandigarh, Nitin Kumar Yadav confirmed the development.

As part of the Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL), the installation of CCTVs began about two years ago. In all, 604 cameras with optical fiber connectivity at all the police stations have been installed and these will provide real-time footage at the Police Command and Control Centre.

The equipment came at a cost of Rs 27 crore and has been installed by Bharat Electronics Limited.

According to Additional Solicitor General of India Satya Pal Jain, the project started after the Supreme Court’s directions to ensure that there is complete transparency in the police stations in all the areas across India. “Sometimes, there are cases of ill-treatment of complainants. In order to ensure the dignified treatment of complainants at the police station this project began. The installation of CCTVs is now happening across the country,” he said.

As part of the project, all the corridors in the police stations, interrogation rooms, lock-ups, duty officer’s rooms, front yards, back yards, and also washrooms will have CCTVs. However, the footage will not be made accessible to anyone. Deletion of footage will not be allowed and an officer will be held accountable to ensure the same. Sources said the CCTV footage will have at least 18-month storage.

Notably, as per the data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2020, a total of 76 prisoners died in police custody or lock-ups across the country in that year. Subsequently, the Supreme Court directed all the states to have CCTVs installed in police stations. In July 2021 after the court’s directives, the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory to all the Union Territories and states to equip police stations with CCTVs across the country.