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.