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Filming couples with hidden cameras
Alert groom exposes racket at Park Plaza; 2 held
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 4
An alert newlywed couple today exposed a shocking racket in a five star hotel, Park Plaza, involving filming by hotel staff of intimate moments of unsuspecting couples staying in different rooms for the past several months.

Bridegroom Harpreet Singh who is recuperating in CMC Hospital A bloodstained table in room No. 114 of Park Plaza Hotel, Ludhiana, on Friday.
Bridegroom Harpreet Singh who is recuperating in CMC Hospital in Ludhiana on Friday.  A bloodstained table in room No. 114 of Park Plaza Hotel, Ludhiana, on Friday. — Photos by Sayeed Ahmed

The hotel is owned by Mr J. Khangura, a Congress leader whose wife had unsuccessfully contested the last Assembly elections from Kila Raipur in this district.

The bridegroom, Mr Harpreet Singh, suffered deep wounds on the head, chest and arms when he challenged the voyeurs and grappled with them. The accused, four in number, who were wearing clothes resembling the uniforms of waiters and security staff of the hotel, attacked him with sharp-edged weapons in room No. 114.

The bridegroom has been admitted to the CMC hospital. The couple belongs to Ludhiana.

The police arrested two employees later in the evening on charges of filming the couple and attempt to murder. The accused have confessed to the crime.

A senior official of the city police confirmed the arrest of houseman Parminder Pohal and daily-wager Raju Sahni.

The police also confiscated the camera used in the crime. Search was on to find the bloodstained clothes of one of the injured accused.

There was blood all over the room, which had been decorated by the relatives a few hours before the incident.

Interestingly, the hotel staff did not call for ambulance or the police immediately after the incident. Instead, the chief security officer and other managers came to the site over one and half hours after the incident.

The relatives alleged that senior hotel staff were hand in glove with the accused.

The police found a trail of blood from the window to a room in the hotel through the terrace and a banquet hall.

The police has detained hotel manager Nipun Vig, chief security officer Khajuria and several unidentified hotel employees. One of them had a fresh injury.

Narrating the sequence of events from his hospital bed, Mr Harpreet Singh said they reached the room around 2.15 am after a reception at the same hotel.

He went to take a wash shortly thereafter. “When I came out, I noticed that the curtain of the window, which faces the terrace, was slightly open whereas earlier it was fully drawn. When I went near it, I saw three persons with a camera. As I challenged them and tried to open the window, one of them threw some object through the glass, which shattered the glass and hit my head.”

He tried to grapple with the accused, who could not flee since the area was congested.

The accused attacked him fearing they had been recognised from their uniforms. Harpreet was hit on the chest and arms and he fell down. His wife fainted at the sight of the accused.

She regained composure after some time and called up the receptionist, who allegedly sent no help. They called their parents and other relatives, who were staying at the Circuit House here, and they reached the scene before the hotel security staff.

They called the police and ambulance. “The security wing of the hotel made no attempt to catch the culprits by securing the exit points,” he alleged.

The racket has shaken the city residents, many of whom had been staying in the hotel.

Businessmen, bureaucrats, celebrities and film stars stay in the hotel during their visits to the city. The police believes that the group has been working in an organised manner for the past several months and might have filmed many couples.

Already a video clipping titled “Park Plaza” is in circulation through mobile phones in the city. The police is now linking the clip with the racket in the hotel.

Interestingly, a receptionist who was being interrogated had allegedly asked the couple over the intercom to lower the volume of the television just 15 minutes before the incident. The police suspected that it was done to minimise interference with the recording.

Another receptionist had specifically given room No. 114 to the couple saying it was earmarked for the newly married couples.

The police found specially made holes to insert mikes or bugs in two rooms, Nos. 112 and 114. The police also found two holes in the windows.

The holes faced beds in both the rooms. The hotel staff allegedly tried to put pressure on the police team led by SP R.K. Jaiswal.

A case of attempt to murder, trespassing and violation of the Obscenities Act has been registered against unidentified persons at Division No. 5 police station.

SSP Narinderpal Singh and SP R.K. Jaiswal told mediapersons that the hotel had no security arrangements.


4 employees suspended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 4
The management of Park Plaza Hotel today suspended four of its employees on suspicion of filming a newlywed couple in a room. However, no action has been taken against the security staff for negligence of duty.

The employees suspended are houseman Parminder Pohal, senior steward Sunil Kumar and two daily-wagers Raju Sahni and Sangam.

Mr Jassi Khangura, managing director of the hotel, and Mr Ajay Bakaya, executive director of Sarovar Park Plaza, who were in New Delhi at the time of the incident, addressed a press conference in the hotel here this evening and denied allegations of filming of couples in the hotel in the past.

They admitted that there were security lapses and the incident was a major embarrassment for them.

The hotel management would conduct its own investigation into the incident, they said.


CM promises stern action

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said on Friday that stern action would be taken against the guilty in the hotel episode.

He said he was personally monitoring the case and would not allow any political or other pressure to scuttle the investigation. — TNS

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