Chennai police have arrested 48-year-old Sampath Raj, owner of a women’s hostel who rented out three bedrooms at the hostel in Thillai Ganga Nagar where seven girls were staying. The women paid an advance of Rs 20,000 with a monthly rent of Rs.5,500 per person.
On December 2nd, Tuesday, Police inspected a women’s hostel in Aadambakkam, after they received a complaint from the women tenants and found two cameras hidden in light bulbs, two on hangers and behind the curtains in bedrooms and two in the bathrooms.
Police told TNM that Sampath alias Sanjay had posted details of the accommodation on the group Flats & Flatmates which is popular on Facebook and that the place was open only from the last two months.
“There were a total of six cameras set up around the house. The first one was found by a girl when she was using the bathroom. She kept trying to plug a hair dryer into the socket and realised that the plug wouldn’t go in. She became suspicious and dismantled and saw that there was a hidden camera,” says an investigating officer.
“Following this, a complaint was filed at the Aadambakkam station and we went to investigate,” he added.
The female tenants were suspicious of the owner’s behaviour from the very beginning as he used to come to the hostel really often in the guise of checking the rooms. Reports suggest that he placed the cameras in the name of carrying out renovation work in the house and kept changing the position of the camera until he got a proper view.
“He hadn’t recorded anything yet but was planning to. We arrested him and have booked him under sections of the IT act. We will conduct further investigations to see how far this issue goes,” said the officer.
The police are still looking into the matter whether the owner had anything recorded.
Safety is important, and it is our own responsibility. We should report any suspicious activity immediately, and inform the concerned authorities. These women had the courage to speak up, and standing up for yourself is never wrong. We never know what would have happened if it would have been too late. Beware, act when you’re supposed to, and stand up for yourself.