CHENNAI: The presence of four CCTV cameras barely metres away from the spot where a Hindu Munnani leader was hacked to death in Ambattur last week, has proved to be of no help to investigators. For, the incident had reportedly taken place outside their ‘field of vision’.
Suresh Kumar, the Thiruvallur east district president of the Hindu Munnani, was hacked to death by an unidentified gang on Thursday night at Ambattur and eight special teams have been formed to investigate the case.
While senior police officials are tight-lipped on the issue, sources said a technical fault in the recording unit had made it impossible to retrieve the images recorded in the camera. This has resulted in the investigators losing valuable piece of evidence that could have helped them identify the killers. However, a few police officials maintained that there was no technical fault.
Rather, the CCTV recordings were not useful as the incident took place outside the field of vision of the cameras. Also, the ones installed at the junction were not night vision enabled (the murder took place around 10 pm).
“The cameras were indeed functioning and the images were recorded. But unfortunately the spot where the incident took place did not fall within the coverage area of the four cameras. Moreover, the cameras do not have night vision. Hence, even if the images were recorded, it would be difficult to identify the men,” said a police official.
There are four CCTV cameras installed at the junction opposite the Ambattur Industrial Estate bus terminus covering all the four converging roads. Interestingly, the Joint Commissioner (West) Office is also located at the junction. However, the saffron outfits are not willing to buy the story. “Even for petty offences, the police immediately release the images recorded in the CCTV cameras. But they have not done so in such a major case. The police version that the incident was not recorded in the camera is really surprising,” said Veda Subramaniam, national council member of the BJP.
Questioning the police version, they argued that if a particular spot was not covered, at least the footage of the persons escaping from there would have been captured by the cameras. “If there really is a technical fault as claimed by police, there should be some responsibility on the part of the police officials who should have noted and rectified it,” said Subramaniam.
Industry experts said that the cost of night-vision enabled CCTV cameras had come down in recent times suggesting that in future the city police must switch to these cameras. “Earlier, the cost difference between ordinary and night vision enabled ones was over 50 per cent. But now it is just 20 to 25 percent,” said a businessman who runs a company from which the State police procure CCTV cameras.