[Reader-list] The Eyes of Dr. Mabuse in Delhi

Shuddhabrata Sengupta shuddha at sarai.net
Thu Dec 20 17:33:20 IST 2001

Here are two interesting reports of the ways in which the new information and 
intelligence apparatus is gradually refining its existing mesh over the space 
of Delhi in the wake of the events of December 13. The first is a brief 
report on the  installation of surveillance cameras all over Central Delhi. 
The second is a report on the newly re-inforced regime of surveillance in 
hotels. If you combine this with the ongoing surveillance of cyber cafes, and 
the strict implementation of the rules that require landlords to report 
tenants to the police this means a whole new mass of information about 
people, their movements and routines which is being gathered.

So now - if you are a tenant anywhere in delhi, a pedestrian or driving a 
vehicle in the high security zone of new delhi, a cyber cafe regular, or a 
tourist or traveller in delhi - you are being watched. Monica, in her last 
posting has already pointed out that if you are a historian you are of course 
under suspician as an intellectual terrorist. Does this leave anyone out?

It helps of course if you are a policeman, but then, there may be police 
watching thepolice. Day before yesterday, for instance there was a mystery 
white ambassador, that entered the complex of the ministry of communications, 
and the police (who were being watched for their response time) sealed off 
the space.

All this brings up a faint memory of the millions of eyes that suddenly 
appear all over the city of Berlin in Fritz Lang's film - the Eyes of Dr. 
Mabuse. When was that made, wasnt it a few years before the year 1933, in a 
country called Germany ?

Not that I am paranoid
Not that I am paranoid
Not that I am paranoid
Not that I am paranoid

Things are as normal, normal, normal, normal

so, read the reports, and see how normal things are/

from the NDTV website - www.ndtv.com

Tuesday, December 18, 2001 (New Delhi):

A new security plan for the Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhawan and other vital 
installations in Delhi's high security zone is being drafted by intelligence 
agencies to prevent a repeat of the attack on December 13. The new plan will 
connect various units responsible for security of these installations through 
a computerised network using closed circuit televisions and hidden cameras. 
Since last week's attack the security around Parliament has been under 
scrutiny and plans are underway to reduce chances of intrusion.


Hotels seek ways to validate guests without offence 

from http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

NEW DELHI: Delhi's hoteliers are trying to find a middle path  one that 
complies with the police directive to thoroughly check the identity of guests 
checking in, but without giving offence. 

In a recent meeting with hotel owners and managers, the police had asked them 
to keep a strict vigil on guests and inform them about anybody suspicious. 
Hoteliers were also told to keep a tab of who came to meet the guests.

Sunil Garg, additional DCP, New Delhi, said: ‘‘We are trying to sensitise the 
hotel staff that if any bad element is caught from their premises, their 
reputation will suffer. Moreover, with Republic Day approaching, the hotels 
have to be more vigilant. They should start asking more questions, apart from 
their routine inquiries.’’

While saying that the directive was correct, a PR official of a five-star 
hotel in central Delhi said: ‘‘We can only ask them if they are coming on 
business or pleasure. We can’t ask guests to list their business contacts or 
whom they will be meeting in Delhi. ’’

While they are yet to find a way of ‘polite interrogation,’’ several hotels 
have taken other steps. ‘‘We have started keeping photocopies of passports. 
Even Indian visitors will have to furnish some proof of identity. And we keep 
a photocopy of that too,’’ said Arti Rao, front office executive at Imperial 

D S Tomar, security manager of the Taj Group of hotels in Delhi, said: ‘‘We 
are not taking any walk-in guest. Only those with reservations can stay.’’ He 
said even those guests are verified.
Le Meridien, a high-rise which is close to Parliament, is considered one of 
the most sensitive hotels in the city. 

‘‘Passports for foreigners and any ID card for Indians is a must for checking 
in here. The access doors to the roof remain locked and even if we have to 
organise something there, we have to take police permission,’’ said Amrit 
Barkha Koti, marketing and communication manager of Meridien.

However, it is the small hotels in places like Paharganj that really worry 
the police. J N Sharma, a partner at Metropolis hotel in Paharganj, said: 
‘Several hotels here are run by managers. The owners just come in the evening 
to take the day’s collection. It will not be easy to implement this directive 

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