NEWS

Did Not Find Any Sign Of Molestation In Footage From 60 Cameras, Says Bengaluru's Top Cop

"The whole team was looking at the camera footage."

06/01/2017 10:02 AM IST | Updated 06/01/2017 10:52 AM IST
AFP/Getty Images
In this photograph taken on January 1, 2017, Indian police personnel holding 'lathi' sticks try to manage crowds during New Year's Eve celebrations in Bangalore on January 1, 2017. An Indian minister faced a severe backlash January 3 after he criticised women for dressing 'like westerners' at a New Year's eve celebration where a mob allegedly carried out a series of sex assaults. Although police have yet to charge anyone in connection with the violence on New Year's Eve in Bangalore, local media have carried testimony and photos of victims cowering from their attackers or fleeing for safety. / AFP / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The Bengaluru police said on Thursday it has gone through hours of footage from at least 60 surveillance cameras but failed to find any evidence of molestation on New Year's eve. Police Commissioner Praveen Sood said he had to take very seriously media reports on 2 January alleging that many women were shoved, groped and sexually harassed by drunken revellers partying late into the night.

"We could not ignore it. At the same time, we cannot imagine things. We started looking into the whole video footage from approximately 55 to 60 cameras. These videos were also sourced by the media from the police. We could not find any kind of molestation," Sood was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

Blurred and long distance shots that appeared in a section of newspapers showed women crying on the shoulders of policewomen and friends. But Sood said these were not linked to incidents of molestation. The women, he claimed, were reacting to a stampede that happened when the police baton-charged the rowdy party crowd.

AFP reported that the police have registered six separate cases based on the media coverage, despite any formal complaint from anyone.

"It takes time, the whole team was looking at the camera footage and looking for molestation in the video. We could not find any sign of molestation," AFP quoted Sood as saying.

The Karnataka home minister had received flak on social media after he was perceived as dismissing casually the incidents of molestation reported by eye-witnesses. A CCTV camera footage surfaced this week, showing a woman being groped and dragged by two men on a scooter and she got off an auto near her home. A woman wrote a hard hitting account of how she dealt with a molester on New Year's eve.

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