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Ghaziabad: Bulldozer action after priest installs CCTV camera in women’s bathroom near temple, hunt on for the fleeing accused

Police and corporation officials revealed that temple priest Mahant Mukesh Goswami has illegal constructions and shops on government land which faced bulldozer action.

The authorities have booked a priest of a temple named Mahant Mukesh Goswami for allegedly installing a CCTV camera in a roofless women’s bathroom in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. The examination of the CCTV cameras placed in the area produced some startling findings. The CCTV and its DVR contained recordings of 320 women and girls.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rural) Vivek Chand Yadav, the CCTV and its DVR were discovered in the bathroom. The DVR included five days’ worth of data. The accused’s cellphone, which displayed live CCTV footage, was also examined. He is currently absconding. Two police teams have been deployed for his arrest and he has approached Allahabad High Court for anticipatory bail.

Meanwhile, police and corporation officials revealed that he has illegal constructions and shops on government land which faced bulldozer action. He was also arrested in Meerut in 2007 after he threatened and extorted Rs 50,000 from a doctor. Afterwards, he was arrested twice in 2018 for cutting and selling unauthorised wood. He was also running an illegal stall on the banks of Holy Ganga.

According to authorities, the issue was discovered when a mother and her 14-year-old daughter went to the temple on 21st May and spotted a CCTV camera aimed at the roofless washroom. Vivek Chandra Yadav stated, “The woman noticed that the CCTV camera installed on the top was focused on the room where women change their clothes.” His cellphone, which he used to view the women was connected to the CCTV. Mahant Goswami became enraged and began to yell obscenities when the woman questioned him right away to inquire about the CCTV camera. According to the DCP, he threatened her with dire consequences if she told anyone about the camera. She then filed a First Information Report at Murad Nagar Police Station.

The official added, “After getting a complaint, the Muradnagar police lodged an FIR on Friday. When the police team reached the temple to arrest him, he was not there.” Police have registered a case under sections 354 (criminal assault on woman), 354 C (watching or capturing an image of women engaged in a private act), 504(intentional insult) and 506 (Criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code against him and further inquiry is underway.

He mentioned that his mobile was also apprehended for analysis, however, no footage was found on it. Both the DVR and the mobile are being sent to the forensic laboratory for investigation. The device was confiscated on 22nd May while the offender was still at the temple. The police hold off on making an arrest until after the victim testifies in court in such cases. The perpetrator fled the scene as soon as she testified in court. Currently, police units are searching for him in Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Haridwar.

On 25th May, a team from the irrigation department demolished the washroom. Additionally, other encroachment was cleared, a day earlier with a bulldozer. Heavy police force remained deployed in view of the protest. The Irrigation Department was in charge of Ganganahar Ghat twenty years ago. The culprit started living there after his arrival in 2004 and gradually settled in this place. He constructed several temples on the ghat (riverbank) and erected a washroom outside the temple. The CCTV was installed in a way that no one would able to spot it, per the police. Furthermore, the majority of the local girls used to visit this place. The motive behind the offensive act is also being probed.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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