THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Contrary to the police claim that the police cameras along Kowdiar-Museum stretch were not working on the night Siraj journalist KM Basheer was fatally knocked down by the car driven by IAS officer Sriram Venkataraman, reports have emerged that six cameras installed along the route were operational.
As per an RTI reply provided by the City Police Commissioner’s office to activist Raju Vazhakkala, six cameras were fully functional near Museum and Raj Bhavan areas.
Four of these cameras were found near Museum locality, while two were located near Raj Bhavan. The RTI application was filed on August 2, a day before the mishap.
The police had claimed that the video recording of Sriram’s journey was not available as cameras were not working. The video recordings would have provided details such as speed at which Sriram had driven the car.
The RTI reply states that out of 233 cameras in the city, 144 were in working condition. That includes cameras along Museum as well as Raj Bhavan. The police, meanwhile, said the reports were misleading.
“The RTI reply was generated after the said accident. The RTI application was filed on August 2. During the probe into the accident, it came to our notice that most of the cameras in the city were not working. As investigators, we had to rely on private cameras but the outcome was dismal. Based on our feedback many cameras were repaired. The RTI reply was given after that.
Hence, the number of cameras in working condition is much higher than what was before August 3,” said a police officer, who has been part of the probe.
Mobile phone used by Basheer yet to be traced
The mobile phone used by Basheer could well provide answers to many of the questions that have been floating around since the tragic accident. However, the police so far are clueless about where it has gone. The phone was active for at least one more hour after the accident, but got switched off thereafter. Police sources said the phone has not been switched on thereafter. “The technical details of the phone have been collected and given to competent agencies. But we could not make a headway into the probe as those who stole the phone are yet to switch it on. Now, the chances to recover it are slim,” the sources added.