City anchor: Valentine’s Day revellers beware! You are being watched

Couples who have special plans this Valentine's Day should be on an alert as they might be 'watched'. Even if they manage to dodge the moral police, there is no escape from private detectives hired by none other than their parents or suspecting spouses. City-based detective agencies are inundated with cases and queries exclusively related to V-Day.

Till Tuesday evening, detective Sunil Shitole of Info Detective Services, had already finalised deals for 15 V-Day cases. "Out of the 15 cases, nine have been given by spouses who want to know the partner's whereabouts on V-Day. Basically, these clients feel their partner is having an affair and they need to crosscheck," said Shitole, adding that he had been receiving many calls for the last few days for V-Day surveillance. "In 2012, we had worked on eight cases that were related to V-Day celebrations. This year, it would be close to 12," he said.

Out of the eight cases that Rajesh Pandey and his team of Corporate Intelligence Services (CIS) are working on, five are assigned by spouses. "The other three clients are parents who don't stay in Pune but want to keep a tab on their children on this special day," said Pandey, adding that work on the V-Day cases spanned over three days. The person is being tracked from February 13 to 15 and the charges are Rs 5,000 per day.

"The detective working on the case follows the subject (the person who is being tracked) and his movements from early morning, the time he/she leaves house. We photograph and film all the movements — the places that the subject goes to, the people he/she meets, the activities and conversations they get into, such as smoking, drinking and so on," said Pandey. Depending upon the situation, Pandey's team takes help of hidden cameras too, but not in private places.

Sharp Detective Agency has nine assignments related to V-Day — to be carried out on husbands, wives, girlfriends or boyfriends. "As of today, we have received close to 50 queries for private investigations in Pune. Our Mumbai office has received twice the number of queries. Mostly, the requirement is for surveillance to be carried out throughout the city. The report will be complete with videos and photos," said Gautam Giri, general manager (west), Sharp Detective Agency.

Giri added that the trend of hiring private detectives to watch the movements of spouses and children was picking up in the city.

In most cases coming to the city agencies, however, the subject's age is over 35 years. According to these detectives, Valentine's Day is a perfect time to catch a cheating spouse. This not being a national holiday, working people who are cheating on their spouses tend to take a holiday and spend it with their lovers.

Technology and devices used by the agencies varies from hidden cameras to static surveillance. "It is illegal to shoot videos inside a room as it accounts to breach of privacy. So our method of working is to catch the subject red-handed and inform the respective spouse or parent," said Giri.

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