Hyderabad: City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar on Thursday justified the checking of mobile phones by the police, stating that it was important for the police to check all gadgets at a scene of offence.
The Commissioner was responding to allegations on social media from several quarters that police were checking mobile phones of the public during vehicle checking.
“During investigation of a grave crime, the first responsibility of the official will be to check the electronic gadgets found at the scene of offence. It is done to identify other gang members and associates of the criminal. Digital evidence is important in any crime. We need to link it because criminals are using digital gadgets to communicate and the chat forms part of evidence,” Anjani Kumar said, adding that the gadgets could be anything, including desktops, laptops, hard disk or other articles.
“As per law, it is important to check all gadgets carried by criminals, especially drug cartels, before or after committing any offence,” he said, pointing that people should verify videos they watch on social media before forwarding and commenting.
“Morphed videos are getting more views in certain cases and it is resulting in panic among the people,” Anjani Kumar said.
Police officials said the videos, purportedly shot by a photojournalist, showed cops checking mobile phones of persons who were stopped and frisked around Dhoolpet and Mangalhat areas, both known hubs of ganja sales. The frisking was part of the ongoing special drive to prevent sale and transport of drugs in the State.
Data researcher Srinivas Kodali tweeted saying that the City Police were into new policing practices in the forming of stopping and searching phone chats. He also alleged that police were searching phone chats for words like ganja.
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