FILE: Union minister Smriti Irani (Press Trust of India photo)
Union Education Minister Smriti Irani was trying on clothes at an outlet of the popular Fabindia in Goa today, when she allegedly spotted a camera positioned to record inside the small room. Footage from the camera, including that of the minister, was found recorded on a computer at the store, alleged a Goa legislator Michael Lobo, who lodged a first information report or FIR.
The police acted swiftly. Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, who belongs to Ms Irani's party the BJP, said in the evening that three people have been arrested in the case, which is now being investigated by the state crime branch.
"Goa is a safe city for women, in spite of this the incident has happened. It's an isolated case...we are dealing it with a firm hand and the culprits will be severely punished," promised the chief minister, who is in Bengaluru for a party meet.
Ms Irani, in Goa on holiday, spotted the camera while shopping at the Fabindia store in Candolim and immediately raised an alarm, alerting her husband, Zubin Irani, Mr Lobo said.
The MLA said she then called him and he contacted the police, who registered a case of outraging a woman's modesty. Ms Irani, 39, has recorded a statement with the police.
Mr Lobo told NDTV that the camera was positioned in a way that the lens pointed right into the changing room and was not easily visible. "When we went through the recording, the entire video was recorded... Someone did mischief... Somebody has been watching the recordings," the MLA said.
Fabindia MD William Bissell told NDTV, "We have security cameras in all stores...The cameras are placed where shop-lifting can occur...They are not inside the trial rooms."
Mr Bissell also said, "We are still investigating the case. Our teams have seen the recording. We have not been able to clarify what Lobo has said."