Lady molested in Gurugram’s predominant govt workplace, no cameras to choose up suspect

GURGRAM: A woman was molested inside an at the , the seat of the Gurugram administration with offices of more than 20 government departments, including the police control room, earlier this week. And the man who stopped the elevator midway to grope her may never be arrested because he managed to walk out of the crowded building and is unlikely to be identified easily as there is no surveillance system on the premises.
An embarrassed administration has now announced cameras and panic buttons will be installed in all lifts and a monitoring room set up.

The woman was among early visitors to the mini-secretariat on Monday (April 16) morning. According to a government employee, a group of people took one of the central elevators around 10am. Among them were the woman and the suspect. There are five elevators at the mini-secretariat — three at the end of the corridor and two at the centre of the building.

The others got out on the first floor where the offices of the Gurugram deputy commissioner, DCP (crime) and ACPs are located but the two were still inside when the man stopped the elevator between the first and second floors and allegedly molested the woman.

Meanwhile, entry points to the elevator on different floors got crowded quickly as it was rush hour. The stuck elevator only began moving when the lift operator restarted it from outside.

The elevator opened on the third floor. Officials said the woman came out and shared her ordeal with those waiting outside. People noticed her broken bangles on the floor of the lift. Some of them grabbed the man and landed kicks and punches on him. The woman left the scene. The others too moved on after that. Everyone was in a rush. No complaint was filed.

The mini-secretariat, situated near Rajiv Chowk, has offices of senior officials like the Gurugram deputy commissioner, DCP, ACP, sub-divisional magistrate, as well as those in the education, revenue, labour and transport departments. Each floor in the six-storey building has eight rooms and two halls.

The building has a daily footfall of over 2,000 people, including government officials and other visitors. Despite this, there is no checking inside the building or at its parking lot. There are four gates to the building but no guards to keep a tab on visitors. In 2015, a file had gone missing from the office of the joint commissioner of police.

A senior official told TOI, “There are so many security lapses in the building. A few departments have Class IV employees to check who enters respective office rooms but they don’t care if there is a fire in the department next door. There is no coordination among these departments. There should be CCTVs in the building but no such monitoring is done. There are no separate entries for public and officials. The entry gates are unmanned and no one knows who all are using the parking lot.”

As far as the elevators are concerned, they are in shambles due to overuse. They are all at least 15 years old. The public works department had sent an estimate to reinstall new motors and cars for the elevators. The replacements are expected to cost Rs 20 lakh per elevator. The estimate was sent two weeks ago to the PWD headquarters but following the molestation case, a new estimate will be sent on Thursday after incorporating the cost of installing CCTV cameras.

“For now, we will install CCTV cameras inside elevators and set up a monitoring room. The cost estimate will be sent on Thursday and installation of cameras will be done on a priority basis. The new lifts will also have a pa-nic button for women and others,” said Nagendra Singh, sub divisional officer, PWD (B&R).

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