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Telangana govt focusing on modernization of its police and police stations
The Telangana government is focusing more on modernisation of police force in its capital city Hyderabad and set up as many as one lakh CCTV cameras all over the city for monitoring of law and order. All these measures are intended to transform the Hyderabad city into an international destination for investors.
Soon after assuming charge as chief minister of the newly formed state, K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced a new-look for the city police on par with New York and London police providing them more than 100 new vehicles with digital equipments. He was intended to enable the police to reach any spot with in minutes for any assistance or any compliance of crime.

His government has allotted Rs 350 crore towards police modernisization. The CCTV cameras are expected to keep a watch on the movements of people. Appreciating these efforts, now civil liberties organizations are seeking to ensure such transparency in the police system too.

People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) national council member Jaya Vindhyala sought the government to set up CCTV cameras at all police stations. She made this demand responding to a recent direction by the Mumbai High Court.

The utility of CCTV cameras as a key safeguard against police misconduct has been reinforced by the Bombay High Court in the aftermath of a tragic and very serious case of torture, sexual abuse and murder in police custody.

In an interim order dated August 13, 2014, the Bombay High Court directed the state government to immediately install rotating Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in "every corridor, room and lock-up" of each police station so that "every part of the police station is covered 24 hours of the day."

The Court noted, the "number of custodial deaths in the State of Maharashtra is alarmingly high and constitute almost 23.48% of the total custodial deaths in the country and comparatively there is no conviction of Police Officers who are accused in such cases."

Stressing the need for the government to focus on the performance of the police in view of growing crime rate and alarming number of incidents of sexual assault, kidnaps, white color crimes and dacoits in the city. She felt CCTV cameras in police stations would ensure prevention of illegal detentions, torture and harassment of innocent citizens who approach police stations seeking assistance.

Other High Courts have recommended the installation of CCTV cameras in police stations as safeguards against custodial torture, and in some states, installation of CCTV cameras in the lock-ups of police stations in a phased manner has been initiated. This, combined with recommendations by the Law Commission of India as recently as 2012 make the case for more CCTV technology.

In Report No. 239, the Commission wrote that "Digital videography (is) to be installed at police stations" and that the interrogation rooms be outfitted with "audio-visual recording facilities" so that the "earliest version of the informant will be evident."

The Justice Verma Committee, empaneled after the Delhi gang-rape of December 2012, understood the sharp importance of CCTV technology and recommended that "All police stations should have CCTV's at the entrance of the police station, in police cells and in the questioning room. All PCR vans should also contain CCTVs. The CCTVs must not be tampered with and every month an independent expert should ensure that the CCTV footage has not been tampered with. This is an additional method to ensure safety in police stations and that proper procedure is followed in handling complaints, the recording and filing of FIRs and in treatment of those in police custody."

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