Opposition frets about ‘anti-Romeo’ squads in Uttar Pradesh, Rajnath says no need for ‘fear pyschosis’

Raising the issue of the newly launched “anti-Romeo squads” in parks, colleges and public spaces, Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan alleged that the “majority the BJP has received in the election cannot be used to ridicule the Constitution, the freedom of youth, girls and boys nor for making rules to harass them”

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: March 24, 2017 10:19 am
Ministers Rajnath Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Venkaiah Naidu in Parliament Thursday. Renuka Puri

With Opposition MPs seeking central intervention into what they alleged “violation of the Constitution” in Uttar Pradesh by allowing “anti-Romeo” squads to “ridicule democracy and the freedom of youngsters”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that there is no need for a “fear psychosis”.

Rejecting the allegations that certain communities were facing discrimination in Uttar Pradesh, Rajnath said the BJP government does not discriminate anyone on the basis of caste, creed or religion but its principle would be “Sabka saath, sabka vikas”.

“There is no need for fear psychosis. It’s a BJP government in Uttar Pradesh and it’s just two days old. I want to make it clear that our party does not do any discrimination in the name of religion, caste or creed. You have seen the chief minister said in his first press conference itself that his government would run on the principle of Sabka saath, sabka vikas. He is working on this principle,” the home minister said in Lok Sabha.

Raising the issue of the newly launched “anti-Romeo squads” in parks, colleges and public spaces, Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan alleged that the “majority the BJP has received in the election cannot be used to ridicule the Constitution, the freedom of youth, girls and boys nor for making rules to harass them”. “I am not saying I am not against vulgarity, nor objecting to any action against obscene acts. But under which rule can you make children do sit-ups or pull at their ears? Even if a brother and sister walk together, some see wrong in it. Is it a crime to be in love in our country?” Ranjan asked during a zero hour mention. “Can children not sit in parks together? How can police go and harrass them?”

The MP from Bihar also alleged that a particular caste is being targeted in Uttar Pradesh for being in the business of slaughtering animals. “The way hatred is being spread in Uttar Pradesh against Yadavs, Muslims and Dalits amounts to ridiculing of the Constitution. The government must investigate into it,” Ranjan said.

Her submission found support from MPs of the Congress and the CPI(M). When SP MP Dharmendra Yadav began to speak, Rajnath requested him to sit down and said he would look into any particular incident that was brought to his attention.

After Yogi Adityanath took over as chief minister, the state police have launched “anti-Romeo squads” to act against youths suspected of harassing women.

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