Smart Cams To Read Facial Expressions of Lucknow Women, Alert Cops

The Quint
·3-min read

The Lucknow Police will install AI-enabled cameras across public places in the city that will 'alert' the nearest police control room on the basis of "facial expressions" of women, who may be subjected to stalking or eve-teasing, reported Bar and Bench.

As per the plan, under Uttar Pradesh's 'Mission Shakti' programme, the AI-enabled camera will click photos of women in distress and send it to the control room after which necessary action will be taken.

Apart from this, panic buttons will also be installed on major roads and squares of Lucknow by the police. Women will just have to “press a button in times of distress,” the cops said, in a statement.

Lucknow Police Commissioner DK Thakur, speaking at an event in the city, reportedly said:

“The alert will come as soon as the expressions of a woman in distress change. Before she can take out the phone and dial 100 or UP 112 for help, an alert will reach the police.”

According to The Times of India, Thakur said that the police have identified 200 hotspots where the movement of women is maximum and "where most complaints have been received.”

'First, Help Women Who Want to File Compliant’

Social activist and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Sumaiya Rana slammed the Yogi Adityanath government, saying that the state is neither taking steps to stop rapes against women nor punishing perpetrators of crimes but is posing a stunt with the move to install AI-enabled cameras.

Speaking to The Quint, Rana said that women no longer feel safe in UP.

"“They are doing nothing to stop the crime, neither are they taking action against those who commit them. Now, they have come up with this idea to install AI cameras to read women’s facial expressions. They are trying to make a fool out of everyone. They take no steps to help women who come to the police station to file a complaint but they will take action based on expressions of women on the roads. Women have understood that they are absolutely not safe under this government. The votes will also show this soon.”" - Sumaniya Rana, SP Leader & Social Activist

Former Lucknow University Vice Chancellor Professor Rooprekha Verma also criticised the move, saying that it looks like the decision was just a ploy to get votes in the next state elections.

"“I have spent my life making rounds at the police station for women’s issues. I have seen the way cops send away women who come with visible wounds from being beaten up. How can we expect them to understand and help women who are not willing to express their feelings and want to suppress their emotions despite being troubled. Are they God that they will be able to see in their hearts and understand what the girls are going through?”" - Rooprekha Verma, Ex-VC, Lucknow University

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‘Stop Tracking Women, Stop Violating Privacy’: Twitter Slams Lucknow Police Decision

However, the surveillance is a bigger threat and violates the privacy of women, many people took to social media to say.

“Stop tracking and stalking women, violating their privacy. Protect us from peeping policemen,” tweeted All India Progressive Women's Association’s Secretary Kavita Krishnan.

Others on Twitter asked why India was focusing on state surveillance when far less money could be spent to educate men and reform abusers, stalkers and rapists.

While some pointed that even in surveillance, the onus is placed on women and not the perpetrator of crime.

Also Read: Dear India, Cleanliness, Women’s Safety, Equality Most Important

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