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Sivasagar hotel staff arrested for voyeurism

By ANN Service

SIVASAGAR, July 2 - In a development having disturbing implications for the safety and privacy of hotel occupants, an employee of Hotel Shiva Palace here was arrested and the manager booked for interrogation on June 27 on the charge of snooping and attempting to video-graph a lady occupant in her bathroom from an adjacent room of the hotel. The employee of the hotel has been identified as Mintu Nath of Nemuguri.

The lady occupant in Room No. 308, who happens to be a professor from a college in Guwahati, and had checked into the hotel with her mother and other family members on the night of June 24, noticed the intruder watching her secretly in the bathroom from an open window above and video-recording her.

She raised an alarm and the matter was immediately informed to the hotel manager, who, however, sought to trivialise it by saying that no such thing was possible in the hotel and that it was her illusion. The manager even refused to open the adjacent room from where the intruder was watching the lady, saying that the room was locked as the occupant was out at that time.

The aggrieved professor and her family members then left the hotel at around 11 pm and lodged an FIR (Case No. 432/17 U/s 354-C, 506, 468 & 34-IPC) with Sivasagar Police. On inquiry, police found that the person from Tezpur who had occupied the adjacent room (No. 310) in the hotel had actually left the room in the morning the same day (June 24) and hence it had to be some other person - likely to be some hotel staff - snooping into the lady occupant's bathroom.

When the police checked the CCTV footage, it became apparent that a hotel staff was the actual culprit, and the interrogation of the manager and a few staff members revealed the truth. Shockingly, it was also found out that the manager manipulated the documents to show that the person from Tezpur was staying in the room on that eventful night even though he had actually left in the morning.

The aggrieved professor said it was a serious case of breach of privacy of an unsuspecting occupant by the hotel management, which was also a case of criminal conspiracy.

�It�s shocking that a bathroom of a room in a hotel can be viewed from a nearby room. This is not a one-off incident. There has to be some connivance of the hotel management and even the owner. Apparently, a sinister racket has been at work. This needs to be probed and the guilty punished,� she said.

Sivasagar Deputy Superintendent of Police Prafulla Sonowal told ANN Service that the arrested employee has been forwarded to Sivasagar jail and investigation into the technical matters of the sensitive case was on. Police would take stern action against anyone found to be guilty in this regard, the DSP assured.

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