Cops may file suo motu cases against New Year's Eve molesters

To scan available CCTV footage to identify culprits

Cops may file suo motu cases against New Year's Eve molesters

The Central Division police are contemplating registering suo motu cases against revellers who allegedly misbehaved with women during the New Year’s Eve revelry.

The Ashoknagar police are skimming through CCTV footage and video recordings made by police to identify the culprits. As no one come forward to lodge any complaints on New Year's Eve or the following day, the police assumed that the revelry was incident-free.

When a section of the media published photographs and local television news channels aired visuals of alleged misbehaviour, the police took note and decided to probe into it.

“We have gone through all the footage we have. We require more clear evidence to take up a case of molestation. If we get a clear footage, we don’t mind taking up a suo motu case even if there is no formal complaint,” said Malini Krishnamoorthy, Additional Commissioner of Police, West.

“If anyone, including the media, has any specific footage of such crimes recorded on their  phones or cameras, they can bring it to us and we will verify it and take action,” she added.

Brigade Road Traders’ Association president Suhail Yusuff rubbished the media's claims of alleged groping and molestation in the revelry. “If any such incident had happened, it would have been reported to the police. Almost everyone carried mobile phones and molestation incidents could have been easily caught on camera and uploaded on social media. Just based on a few photographs or visuals of the thousands of people moving in a wave, cases of groping and molestation cannot be established,” said Yusuff.

“It was the New Year and at the stroke of midnight, people would have hugged their dear and near ones, or for that matter, even acquaintances would have shared hugs. That cannot be called molestation,” he quipped.

Meanwhile, police sources said the release of transfer orders of senior IPS officers to the media around four to five hours before the revelry commenced could have come as a distraction. Though around 1,500 policemen were deployed for safety and security alone on the 400-500-metre stretch of Brigade Road, the buzz was about transfers and that could have been the reason for poor management of the crowd which was evident from the traffic management on MG Road. Traffic movement was allowed till 10.30 pm on MG Road even as the crowd was swelling on Brigade Road and MG Road causing inconvenience both to commuters and revellers.

“There were over 30 high-definition cameras excluding those the police carried to videograph revellers. There were watchtowers erected to monitor crowds with night-vision binoculars. How could something as bad as this have missed the eyes of the police?” said a senior police officer.

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