Airport theft turns glare on cameras – Spotlight on cctv for law and order & trace of stolen car

The Telegraph

The terminal of the Bagdogra airport. File picture

Siliguri, April 29: An SUV theft from the parking lot of Bagdogra airport yesterday has raised doubts about CCTV surveillance at the facility which is a security installation.

C.K. Shrestha, whose car was stolen, today alleged that when his family wanted to see CCTV footage to see the exit gate of the airport and check who had driven away the car, the airport authorities said they could not provide him with such footage.

He alleged that the airport authorities told his son Yash that the CCTV cameras on the premises were out of order when he wished to see the footage between 1pm and 2pm.

However, K. Bhowmik, the director of the Bagdogra airport, denied the charge that the CCTV cameras were not working.

“We have met the person concerned whose car was stolen from the parking lot and promised all necessary steps. It is not correct that CCTV cameras were not functioning at the airport,” Bhowmik said.

Bhowmik refused to say today if the cameras at the exit gate and the parking lot were working, citing security reasons.

Shrestha, a resident of Kalimpong and a former national working president of the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, said: “It is surprising that CCTV cameras are not working at the airport. This is what we were told when we met the AAI officials yesterday. They told them that we want to see the footage captured by cameras of the time when the SUV was parked. I have lodged a written complaint with the airport director today…. We will wait for another 24 hours and in case no information about our vehicle reaches to us, we will be forced to take the legal course.”

Shrestha said his son Yash Kishore, daughter-in-law Neetu and grandson Advait had gone to drop his daughter Priyadarshini at the airport around 1pm yesterday.

They left the white-coloured Mahindra Bolero (SK-01P-2949) at the parking lot and went inside to see Priyadarshini off. When they returned, they could not find the SUV at the parking lot. Yash looked all over the parking area and also inquired with the parking fee collectors if they had seen anybody drive away with the SUV.

“All the parking fee collectors said they had seen nobody drive away an SUV. But that is unbelievable because none of the cars is supposed to leave the parking space without paying the fee…. We suspect foul play,” said Shrestha.

Yash filed a complaint at the Bagdogra police station.

Sources at the airport said the facility has 26 cameras, most of which are installed inside the airport.

A source at the airport said: “Recently, we received 40-42 more CCTV cameras which would be put in several locations to strengthen the vigilance. Installation of these cameras is in progress.”

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