CCTV cameras help deter child predators: Court

Convicting a 38-year-old for molesting a 14-year-old girl while she was going to school, a special court observed the importance of CCTV cameras in tracing sex offenders, protecting children and deterring such offenders.

The man was traced with the help of CCTV footage of the area.

Special judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act Bharti Kale said in her judgment, “This is one of the many cases which underlines the importance of CCTV cameras as in this case the parents of the victim had taken efforts to retrieve CCTV footage for enabling them to trace out the accused. Installing CCTV cameras at all places where children have access definitely helps in their protection from sexual offences as well as acts as a deterrent for predators.”

The court sentenced Nijam Khan, a labourer, to three-years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him. Of the fine amount, Rs 5,000 has been directed to be given as compensation to the victim.

“In the present case, the victim was sexually assaulted by the accused when she was proceeding to school. Such kinds of acts create fear in the minds of young children that they are not safe even in the day-time,” the court observed. The girl needs to be compensated for the mental injury she suffered at the hands of the accused, it added.

In February last year, the girl was going to school with her younger brother around 7.30 AM. Her brother had been left behind to close the zip of his schoolbag. Khan had come near the girl and asked her why she was going to school so early, molested her, and fled. Frightened, the girl had hidden behind a car till her brother caught up. She had gone to school and informed her principal and then her mother. Her parents had then checked the CCTV footage of the area, lodged a police complaint and Khan had been arrested.

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