Between March 22 and May 28 this year, the anti-Romeo squads registered 538 cases and issued strict warnings against more than 3 lakh, according to the state government. The home deparment released data under the heading “Description of the action taken by the anti-Romeo squad in the state” on Tuesday. Gorakhpur zone, from where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath hails from, has the highest number of registered cases (341) and number of accused who faced action (816).
“As the anti-Romeo squad is his (CM’s) brainchild, police is more active and sensitive in Gorakhpur zone. This is why there a high number of cases registered here,” said Rajendra Prasad Pandey, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gorakhpur. “The registered cases are mostly under the IPC section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty).”
The main motive behind the formation of the Anti-Romeo squad, according to the government, is to make all public places, including schools, colleges, markets and bus and railways station, free from anti-social elements.
According to the Home Department spokesperson, strict instructions were also given to police personnel to maintain order. The advisory, including statements from Adityanath, was issued following complaints of police allegedly harassing consenting couples in the name of anti-Romeo operations.