HYDERABAD: A middle-aged woman sifts through sarees while the salesman produces more options for her. She is accompanied by her colleague who admiringly looks at a pink saree priced at Rs 500.
No, these are not your regular shoppers at the saree showroom in Begumpet. They are security guards on duty and it is all happening at the State Museum in Nampally Tuesday afternoon.
This comes a day after thieves stole priceless antiques from the Nizam’s museum in Pathargatti.
On Tuesday, the two women were in charge of guarding the gallery which hosts invaluable bronze figures from the Vijaynagar and Chola period.
To top it off, none of the CCTV cameras in the museum are non-functional. D Ramulu Naik, Assistant Director of State Museum said, “The CCTV cameras are currently not working and have to be repaired.”
The middle-aged woman at the gallery, when asked about the same, said: “We tell visitors that the cameras are activated and that they are being watched.”
Right opposite to Naik’s office is the museum's most prized possession — a 2,353-year-old Egyptian mummy, which was reportedly brought to Hyderabad by the son-in-law of VI Nizam Mahbub Ali Khan, who had then acquired it for 1000 pounds.
Since the CCTV camera lodged on the ceiling in front of the mummy gallery is not operational, anyone can go in and tamper with it.
There is also a serious lack of manpower in the museum. Naik said, “There are five security guards and four officials in the museum, out of which two remain off on any given day.”
Another security official, manning the Buddhist gallery in the main building, was fast asleep. When asked if he had any pressing matters to tend to, he said, “I am awake when there are more people.”