Chennai police have arrested 48-year-old Sampath Raj, owner of a women's hostel in Aadambakkam, after they found that he had kept hidden cameras in several parts of the accommodation including the bathroom. Police inspected the hostel on Tuesday after they received a complaint from the women tenants on December 2.
Police tell TNM that Sampath alias Sanjay, had posted details of the accommodation on the group Flats & Flatmates which is popular on Facebook. He was renting out three bedrooms at the hostel in Thillai Ganga Nagar and seven girls were staying there. They had paid an advance of Rs 20,000 and decided on a monthly rent of Rs.5,500 per person. It had been open for only 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 adds.
On a thorough check of the premises, police found two cameras hidden in light bulbs, two on hangers and behind curtains in bedrooms and two in the bathrooms. The female tenants who are all working women were allegedly suspicious of the owner's hand in the matter as he would come to the lodging 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. He reportedly kept changing the position of the camera till he got a proper view.
"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. Police are probing the case to find out why he was attempting to record the female tenants.