4 ar­rested at In­dia bou­tique over hid­den cam­era


In­dian po­lice ar­rested four peo­ple Fri­day fol­low­ing a fed­eral gov­ern­ment min­is­ter’s com­plaint that a niche bou­tique in the south­west­ern re­sort of Goa had a closed-cir­cuit TV look­ing into a chang­ing room where she was try­ing out clothes.

Po­lice of­fi­cer Umesh Gaonkar said the four bou­tique em­ploy­ees face charges of in­sult­ing a woman and out­rag­ing her mod­esty, which carry a max­i­mum pri­son sen­tence of two years. They will be for­mally charged in a court at the end of the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Hu­man Re­sources Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Sm­riti Irani was in the store on Fri­day when one of her as­sis­tants in­formed her about the cam­era, which the of­fi­cer said was aimed through the chang­ing room’s ven­ti­la­tor, said Nilesh Rane, an­other po­lice of­fi­cer.

The store is in the beach vil­lage of Can­dolim, popular with in­ter­na­tional tourists.

The cam­era was found to be record­ing cus­tomers in­side the room, Gaonkar said.

Michael Lobo, a state law­maker be­long­ing to Irani’s gov­ern­ing Bharatiya Janta Party, told re­porters that the cam­era had recorded footage of “women chang­ing clothes over the past three to four months.”

Com­plaints of hid­den chang­in­groom cam­eras have been pour­ing in from around In­dia.

“Not just this bou­tique. All stores with such a fa­cil­ity must be in­ves­ti­gated,” op­po­si­tion Congress party spokesman Dur­gadas Ka­mat de­manded.

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