He told the police it was a novelty for him to see skimpily clad women as he had just moved to the city from his village three months ago
Culture shock can drive people to do strange things. At least that’s what an 18-year-old cleaner claimed, after the Amboli police arrested him on Sunday night for secretly filming women in the washroom with his mobile phone.
His defence was even more outrageous than his crime – having recently moved to Mumbai from a village in UP, it was a culture shock to see skimpily clad women at the rooftop lounge where he worked, and it excited him so much, he wanted to see more.
mid-day’s report yesterday
This paper had reported yesterday that women at Sheesha Sky Lounge in Andheri (West) received a rude shock when they discovered a mobile phone taped to the toilet wall was secretly filming them (‘Cleaner used cellphone to spy on women in loo at Sheesha Sky Lounge’, mid-day, February 9). The cleaner, Garibnath Ram, barged into the toilet to snatch the phone, but was assaulted by the husband of one of the women. In the ensuing struggle, Ram slipped and hit his head on the floor and had to be taken to a hospital. However, the very same night, Ram was discharged from the hospital and arrested by the police.
The complainant in the case is a 21-year-old fashion designer who spotted the phone on the bathroom wall. “We called the police and informed them about the incident. I switched on the mobile phone and saw four to five videos of women, including me,” she told mid-day.
The cops have recovered her video from Ram’s mobile and have sent the phone for forensic analysis to find out whether there were other videos he may have deleted. “We are also trying to find out since when has he been taping his mobile to the toilet wall,” said an officer from the Amboli police station.
Ram told the police he had moved to Mumbai just three months ago from a small village in Uttar Pradesh. Here, he saw women in dresses and short skirts for the first time, and became fascinated with them.
He decided to film them with his cellphone so he could see more, and so he could show the videos to his friends and colleagues at night. The police are now questioning other staff at the lounge to find out whom he shared the videos with. The lounge management said in their statement that they were unaware of Ram’s activities. He has been charged under Section 66A of the IT Act and Section 354C (Voyeurism) of the IPC, and was remanded to police custody till February 12.