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Broken cameras aid bombers

Imphal, July 18: The CCTV cameras installed in Imphal to detect crime have not been able to achieve the desired goal, as most of them are not functioning.

The state home department installed 155 CCTV cameras in Imphal four years ago in an effort to fight crime.

However, 113 of the cameras developed technical problems and stopped functioning a few months after installation.

Altogether 28 cameras were installed at Imphal Raj Bhavan and 27 at the chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh’s office.

The rest were installed in various parts of the city by a Bangalore-based firm.

The cameras were installed to identify those who planted IEDs here and identify them.

Deputy chief minister Gaikhangam today admitted on the floor of the House that because of the malfunctioning cameras, the police department could not identify criminals.

Sources said a malfunctioning camera installed at the main gate of the chief minister’s office prevented the identification of a man who planted an IED there on August 19 last year.

Police sources said the bomb was left at the gate and triggered with a remote-controlled device.

A militant of the Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Progressive), who was arrested more than 10 days after the blast, told the police that he had walked up to the gate and left the bomb.

He then caught an auto-rickshaw and pressed the remote-controlled button.

No one was injured in the blast.

Gaikhangam said the state home department constituted a stock-taking committee to examine the reasons for the failure of the cameras and to make suggestions for better functioning.

“The committee will submit its recommendations soon and we will rectify things and make the cameras functional,” Gaikhangam said.

The reasons cited for the breakdown include irregular power supply, lack of maintenance and theft of batteries that supply power to the cameras.

To do away with the problem of erratic power supply, the state home department is planning to use solar energy.

Gaikhangam added that there were plans to install CCTV cameras in all the municipal areas of the state and also at vital installations.