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New Delhi: In a first of its kind move, the Delhi Police hired 100 private photographers to cover all happenings, including Congress protests, around the headquarters of the Enforcement Directorate when the Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi were summoned there for questioning.

The strategic move, a senior police official said, was done by the department to keep an eye on any untoward incident that may have arisen due to Congress’ workers protest during this time.

Delhi Police has never hired private photographers for such situations.

It hired the photographers from private event management companies through which the photographers were deployed in and around the EDs headquarters.

These photographers were paid around Rs 2,000 per head to 4,000 per head based on their experience, and thus, the Delhi Police paid around Rs 2 lakh to 4 four lakh for the coverage.

These camera persons were also given a police jacket to put on so that they could be identified among the crowd.

One of the photographers, who was present at A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Road, told IANS that he was being paid Rs 2,000 per day and was asked to click photos when Sonia Gandhi came to the ED headquarters.
He refused to be named.

Akash, of Sky Global firm through which the photographers were hired/deployed, told IANS that 30 photographers were sent to the spot when Sonia Gandhi came for the questioning.

He said different amounts were paid to each camera persons.

“On the first day of questioning of Rahul Gandhi, around 30 photographers were sent. This questioning went on for five days but on the next four days we sent only 10 photographers each day. When Sonia Gandhi came to the ED headquarters, we sent 30 photographers,” he said.

Senior Delhi Police officials, specially DCP Headquarters, were contacted for their response but no one was available to comment on the matter.

A senior police official only said that if the photographers were used by the department to keep an eye on any untoward incident, nothing was wrong.

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Author: Howard Caldwell