In a shocking incident a hidden camera was detected in a changing room of Fabindia, one of the famous apparel outlets in Goa. Ms. Smriti Irani an union minister and famous celebrity star while on her shopping spree in Goa visited Fabindia’s Candolim outlet. Smriti Irani was trying on clothes at an outlet when she apparently spotted a camera positioned to record inside the small room. After checking the footage from the camera, including that of the minister, was found recorded on a computer at the store.
Ms. Irani immediately raised an alarm, alerting her husband, businessman Zubin Irani about this incident. She also called the Calangute MLA Mr. Micheal Lobo and narrated him the incident. Mr. Lobo taking strict steps against the establishment lodged an FIR (First Information Report) with the calangute police. The Calangute Police Inspector Nilesh Rane said “The minister was in the store when one of her assistants informed her about the camera which was installed outside the changing room, but seemed to have a view of inside,”
The Fabindia MD William Bissel told Media that, “We have security cameras in all the stores. The cameras are placed where shop-lifting can occur. They are not inside the trial rooms.” Mr Bissel also said, “We are still investigating the case. Our teams have seen the recording. We have not been able to clarify what Lobo has said.”
Mr Lobo told media that the camera was positioned in such a way that the lens pointed right into the changing room and was not easily visible. “When we went through the recording we saw that the entire video was recorded. This is mischief. Somebody has been watching the recordings,” the MLA said.
According to the information provided by one of the staff of the store this camera was installed in the store around 4 months back and the recording was done on the computer which was connected in the store manager’s office. Mr. Micheal has alleged that there are possibilities of many such recordings of the people while changing in the trial room. The manager of the store was not on duty today to answer any of the questions.
The police have registered a case of outraging a woman’s modesty against the store and are investigating to find out who had positioned the camera to face the changing room. “The police are still checking for evidences. They are seizing all the required materials,” Mr Lobo said. Ms Irani, 39, has already recorded her statement at the Candolim police station. She is staying in the popular Calangute area, not far from the Candolim store.” Mr Lobo said.
Meanwhile to scoop up the event the Congress spokesperson 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,” said the Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat.
Reacting on this incident Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar told the media that the matter is being probed and stringent action will be taken against the culprits. Terming the incident as “extremely shocking”, Mr. Parsekar said that, “She (Smriti Irani) went inside a store by name FabIndia for some purchases. My government will act and thorough investigation will be done.” Parsekar further said that it could be a conspiracy against Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani and this angle will be taken into consideration. However, the Goa CM advocated people to be more vigilant to prevent this kind of incident. The CM has also ensured that all big stores and showrooms across the state will be thoroughly checked to make sure nothing of this sort happens in future.
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. Reacting to the incident, National Commission for Women member Shamina Shafiq said that it needs to be investigated where previous videos have been sent.