NEW DELHI: Aerial images and videos of Red Fort and Qutub Minar, posted by Delhi Police on social media, have raised hackles of Archeological Survey of India officials.
According to the officials, drone photography of heritage structures and monuments is prohibited especially the Red Fort, which serves as the venue for Independence Day celebration attended by the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, senior political leaders and other dignitaries.
An ASI official said that the police shot videos and took photographs of the heritage sites and later uploaded them on social media, which might pose a threat to the protected structures like Red Fort and Qutub Minar, which come under ‘no flying zone’.
“From a security point of view, drone photography is not allowed at ASI protected buildings. As Red Fort falls under sensitive zone, posting its aerial images online is not advisable. It shouldn’t have been done by a government agency as making those images public is against the security protocol. It gives room for security lapse,” said the official requesting anonymity.
The officials said the higher authorities had already been informed about the matter but no action has been taken yet. Besides photos of Purana Qila and Tughlakabad Fort, Delhi Police posted drone images and 10- second-long clips of Red Fort and Qutb Minar, taken during lockdown, with hashtag ‘DilKiPolice’ on twitter earlier this month.
On Wednesday, Delhi Police tweeted a two-minute-long video titled ‘Dilkash Dilli’ which features compilation of clips of prominent tourist attractions — Safdarjung Tomb, Humayun’s Tomb, Jama Masjid, and Parliament House — filmed with the help of drones.
“We don’t grant permission for drone photography to anyone. The ASI is not aware whether the police had permission from Union Home Ministry which is mandatory for this purpose,” said another ASI official.
However, former regional director of ASI KK Muhammed said that police don’t require permission for videography or photoshoot during unprecedented emergency situation like coronavirus lockdown and moreover drone photography doesn’t harm protected structures.
Delhi Police Public Relation Officer Mandeep Singh Randhawa said no complaint had been filed in the matter. “We have received no objection from the ASI yet. And the images and videos were taken from outside,” he said.
As Red Fort falls under sensitive zone, posting its aerial images online is not advisable. “Making those images or videos public is against the security protocol. It gives room for security lapse,” said an ASI official.
(With inputs from Gayathri Mani)