Hyderabad: Forty three closed circuit television cameras installed at the historic Mecca Masjid have failed to stop pickpockets from stealing mobile phones and wallets of namazis and visitors.
About 10 phones were stolen in last few days in the mosque including a few during the Jummat al Vida prayers last week.
Mr Mohd Khadeer, a student, lost his new Oppo F7 phone. “Someone pushed me when I was entering the mosque. A little later I found my phone which I had purchased the previous day missing,” he said.
According to the masjid management, thieves loiter around the mosque and the markets and take advantage of the huge crowds.
The government has installed 43 high definition cameras in and around the mosque and put the people under surveillance.
“It is shocking that despite so many cameras, such incidents are reported from the place,” said Moghalpura resident Misbah Ahmed.
Complaints of some persons stealing footwear are also pouring in from the mosque. However, such cases are a common at most of the places of worship, where offenders leave their old footwear and walk off with new ones.
Superintendent, Mecca Masjid, Mohd Abdul Khadeer Siddiqui, said that soon after the prayers people rush out of the mosque in the evenings. “During the rush, some persons whisk away the mobile phones and wallets. Our security personnel try to keep watch but owing to rush it is difficult,” he said.
He said the victims who approach the masjid management to complain about lost phones and wallets are guided to approach the local police.
A police official from the South Zone said that policemen in plain clothes are deployed in the markets and near important places of prayers.
“People should also be cautious with their belongings. We are making announcements through the public address system and put up banners to caution the people,” said the official....