Are you or your loved ones staying in a rented room/hotel/hostel or PG accommodation?
Then we have only two words for you – Be Careful.
The number of cases of being watched and recorded by landlords or caretakers through a hidden camera are increasing.
With the advancement in technology, the cameras are hidden in seemingly non-dangerous devices like an electric plug, a fan regulator, a bulb.
And if you think ONLY people staying in the cheap PG or in the cheap locality are at a threat, then you are not aware of what’s happening around you!
Recently, a 47-year-old landlord was arrested by the police station for allegedly installing a hidden camera inside the room of 3 girls, who were staying as PG in his 4-bedroom upmarket apartment in South Mumbai.
Though being arrested on December 19 under various IPC sections including harming the modesty of a woman and the IT Act, the landlord was later granted bail on December 22.
Police found the hidden camera in one of the adapters of the high-end mobile phone.
The accuser not only recorded and stored several videos but also audio clippings of his PG.
As per the police, the suspicion started when he started repeating the conversation of girls exactly the way they had said it.
“Firstly, the girls thought that the accused may be overhearing their talk. Then, one of the girls found an electric adapter fitted in their room. This made girls a bit suspicious about the accused.”
Police further added:
“The girl put a piece of cloth over it. The accused immediately came to the room and asked the girls why they had covered it up. He told them that the adapter was an antenna booster for his TV.”
In order to confirm their doubt, the girls searched the internet – only to find that the adapter was a hidden camera available for sale online.
As per law, the punishment for violating person’s privacy is three years imprisonment, though it is a bailable offense. But, given the fact that the technology-enabled offenses such as these are growing in numbers, the offense should be made non-bailable.
Rather than being scared of the incident, we would encourage you to find ways to protect yourself or your family.
You can start running the initial checks, starting with the following:
#1: Search the area meticulously (including the room and building)
#2: Look for anything that is different or out of place. For example, paintings or showpiece in an unusual area or lampshades that serve no purpose
#3: Check for things where microphone or transmitter could be hidden e.g. flower pots or light fixtures, cushions, table tops or shelves
#4: Run deeper checks with lights off – examine mirrors with a torch. In case the mirror is a see-through mirror, you can see a camera fitted behind it
#5: You can also look for pinhole cameras – Close one eye and sweep flashlight across the room and check if anything glimmers and reflects back
In the times when the crime rates against women are increasing, we would encourage women to turn themselves into their own guards – their own hero!