The CCTV cameras now play a crucial role in a criminal investigation. In states like Bihar with frequent criminal incidents, the importance of CCTV cameras at the personal as well as at the state government level is seen to be minimal.
IANS visited some of the streets in Patna and found that maximum roads are not under CCTV surveillance. Starting from Bailey road connecting Saguna Mor in Danapur to Dak Banglow Chowk located in the heart of Patna with more than 10 intersections, the majority of them are not under CCTV surveillance. The situation was the same on Ashok Rajpath, Freser road, Exhibition road and many others.
Subhendu Kumar Singh, a resident of upscale Budha colony in Patna said: “Patna is way behind on the security front. CCTV cameras are hardly installed in individual residential buildings.”
As a resident of Patna, he observed that keeping a low profile is the key here to avoid criminal incidents.
“If we install CCTV cameras in our premises, it is too obvious and the local criminals may demand extortion money from us,” Singh said.
“The installation of CCTV cameras on government buildings, multi-storey buildings, electric and telecom poles could be a good option for authorities,” he said.
A police source said that the department, in case of criminal incidents, is dependent on CCTV cameras installed in commercial outlets. They are hardly installed or in working condition at traffic signals.
Patna has witnessed a series of crimes in the last one month including the high profile murder of Rupesh Kumar Singh, station head of Indigo Airlines.
The Patna police, in the absence of CCTV cameras at the crime scene and adjoining areas, has been unable to trace the assailants even after 20 days of the murder. In other incidents a JD(U) leader was fired upon in Patna on January 17, an agriculture officer was kidnapped and brutally killed in Masaudhi in Patna district, an employee of the Danapur court was gunned down on January 21 and a 25-year-old youth was killed in Patna City on January 25.
Besides, criminal incidents occurred across the state including BJP spokesperson Afzer Shamshi being shot at in Munger on January 27. The cousin brother of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput and his aide were shot at in Saharsa on January 30, a rice mill owner Aman Gupta was killed in Araria on February 1 and Pawan Kedia, a medicine wholesaler was gunned down in the same district on January 28.
As per data available with IANS, 25,592 cognizable crimes took place from January to November 2020 in Patna district including 191 murders, 830 cases of rioting, 706 burglaries and 124 robberies.
The Bihar government, following an upsurge in such cases, is on the backfoot. As a result, the Patna administration has directed all commercial and residential complexes to install or repair CCTV cameras in their premises by March 31.
A meeting in this regard was held at the divisional commissioner’s office on Monday wherein all top officials of Patna district including ADG Sanjay Kumar, DM Chandrashekher Singh, SSP Upendra Sharma, the traffic SP and the commissioner of the Patna municipal corporation were present.
“We have directed officials of Patna to identify places for installation of CCTV cameras in Patna district. The home department has hired Bihar State Electronic Development Corporation Ltd to conduct a survey followed by installation of good quality cameras,” said Sanjay Kumar Agrawal, divisional commissioner of Patna.
“We have also directed all commercial shop owners, proprietors of residential and commercial complexes to repair non-functional existing cameras or install new CCTV cameras in parking areas, lifts, lobbies, all floors and corridors,” Agrawal said.
Patna has over 1600 residential or commercial complexes. In most of them, CCTV cameras are non- functional or non-existent.