wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

‘Every inch of Telangana will be under surveillance,’ says state government

Telangana Police’s command and control centre building, at Banjara Hills in Hyderabad, will be ready in six months, and will be able to process footage from 100,000 CCTV cameras in under a minute, the state government said in a tweet on February 14. The tweet, originally, in the Telugu language, claimed that “if you go out for work, 50 cameras will be able to spot you by the time you are back,” and that “every inch of the state will be under police radar”. “If a crime happens anywhere, there will be information immediately,” it added. Independent researcher Srinivas Kodali helped MediaNama with the translation of the tweet.

The command centre will reportedly have four towers, a data centre and command control centre with a total built-up area of 6.2 lakh square feet at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore, however, its operationalisation has been delayed, as construction of the facility was initially expected to be complete by December 2019.

“Telangana has banned protests in the very first year it was formed because of protests part of [the] Telangana movement. CCTVs everywhere are to ensure [that] no one dares to come out on the street and give away complete control of public spaces to cops. They want to control every corner of the state, this is a draconian form of governance,” Kodali told MediaNama. Calling it an “utter disregard for the rule of law,” he added that Telangana’s surveillance tactics can serve as a blueprint for other state governments, and even the central government. “Anything that happens in Telangana as the largest growth state in India is taken as a good governance model and is replicated. In fact all the surveillance systems in Telangana are pilots under MHA [Home Ministry] to be implemented everywhere in India,” he said.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

It is worth mentioning that the Telangana government’s plans of surveilling “every inch of the state” come when India doesn’t have a data protection law. Moreover, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, which is currently being deliberated upon by a Joint Parliamentary Committee, has carved out exemptions for government agencies to adhere to provisions of the Bill. 

This development comes after we reported that police in Telangana have been randomly asking for fingerprints and facial data of “suspects” to match against their database on criminals. We had found that this demand for people’s biometric data is often done without an executive order, and without people’s explicit consent. A senior police official from Telangana had earlier told us that the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) gives police the right the kill, and asking for fingerprints and facial data from people is not a big deal.

Also, last month, Telangana used facial recognition systems to verify voters during the state’s civic elections. Telangana’s election commission claimed that “authenticating voters by using technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and deep learning, that leave behind a digital trail, can help in reducing impersonation cases significantly”. However, the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), had urged the state’s election commissioner to withdraw the use of such systems, since their deployment doesn’t have any statutory basis and serves no legitimate state aim, to no avail. 

***Updated at 12:27 pm on February 17 with inputs from Srinivas Kodali. An earlier version of the post has been archived here.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



Do we have an enabling system for the National Data Governance Framework Policy (NDGFP) aiming to create a repository of non-personal data?


A viewpoint on why the regulation of cryptocurrencies and crypto exchnages under 2019's E-Commerce Rules puts it in a 'grey area'


India's IT Rules mandate a GAC to address user 'grievances' , but is re-instatement of content removed by a platform a power it should...


There is a need for reconceptualizing personal, non-personal data and the concept of privacy itself for regulators to effectively protect data


Existing consumer protection regulations are not sufficient to cover the extent of protection that a crypto-investor would require.

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ