In an extremely outrageous incident, Union Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Irani on Friday spotted a camera near a trial room of a well-known apparel showroom in Goa.
Irani is in Goa on a holiday with her husband.
The minister was shopping at the “Fabindia” store in Candolim when she noticed the camera near the trial room. The camera was installed in a way that it focused on the trial room.
Irani then alerted her husband and called BJP Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, who stays in the vicinity of the clothing boutique.
Lobo arrived at the showroom with police and later filed a complaint in this regard. A hard disk and the camera have been seized, and the staff of the store are being interrogated.
Talking to a news channel, Lobo said the camera was not easily visible and its lens pointed right into the changing room. He further said that footage from the camera was being recorded in a computer in the manager’s office.
While Irani could not be contacted, Lobo, who was on the spot, said the ruling BJP-led alliance government was taking the matter seriously.
“The camera is in a very mischievous place and there is footage of women changing clothes for the past three to four months,” Lobo told IANS.
Meanwhile, the Goa Police has filed a case of outraging a woman’s modesty against the store.
Reacting to the development, Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar told “Zee Media” that the matter is being probed and stringent action will be taken.
Terming the incident as “extremely shocking”, Goa CM said, “She (Smriti Irani) went inside a store by name FabIndia for some purchases. My government will act and thorough probe will be held.”
Parsekar further said that it could be a conspiracy against Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani and this angle will be probed too.
However, the Goa CM advocated people to be more vigilant to prevent this kind of incident.
Goa CM also ensured that all big stores and showrooms across the state will be thoroughly checked to ensure nothing of this sort happens in future.
Notably, this is not the first time that a camera has been spotted inside a changing room. However, spotting of the same by none other than a Union minister is expected to raise the alarm loud enough to be heard by the authorities.
The Congress, meanwhile, claimed that the ‘changing room scandal’ was Goa’s best kept secret, especially in tourism-oriented coastal villages.
“Not just this boutique. All stores with such a facility must be investigated. A union minister can at least alert the authorities but most people cannot,” Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat said.
Reacting to the incident, National Commission for Women member Shamina Shafiq said that it needs to be investigated where previous videos have been sent.