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article imageMan arrested for photographing Indian temple with drone

By Sravanth Verma     Mar 26, 2016 in Technology
Khajuraho - A U.S. citizen at the famous Khajuraho temples in India was arrested by the police for photographing the monuments with a drone, without a license.
Gopal Krishen Sharma, a junior conservation assistant with the Archaeological Survey of India noticed a drone flying near the temples. Calling the police, they investigated the area around the temples and found a man on a hotel rooftop nearby operating the machine.
“We immediately rushed to the hotel, caught the foreigner and seized his drone and its remote. We handed him over to the local police. A case will be registered against him based on our complaint. We are consulting our superiors on legal aspects like under which act and rules we should file this case,” Sharma said. “His name is Derek Bessimier according to his visa. When we questioned him why he was filming the world heritage site without due permission, he said he was not aware that drone photography was not allowed there. He also said there were no signboards anywhere which said it was prohibited in the area.”
Drone usage is prohibited in India without proper permission due to security reasons. A Polish and an Italian national were also arrested in February 2016 for operating a drone at the monuments. “We stopped them before they could do much. After scanning their documents and deleting all the contents of their cameras, they were let go,” Sharma said. Drones can be used around protected monuments only after getting government approval. The Khajuraho monuments are especially popular among overseas tourists and honeymooners, thanks to the erotic sculptures and poses from the ancient text, the Kamasutra, depicted on the walls of the temples.
Built in the ninth and tenth centuries AD by the Chandella kings, they are considered among the finest examples of erotic art in the world. There were originally eighty four temples here, but only twenty five remain now.
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