A horrifying video of two girls being molested by a group of boys in Rampur has exposed the Yogi Adityanath government’s failure to provide safety to women in Uttar Pradesh. In the gruesome video, around 12 to 14 boys can be seen molesting the girls, even as they plead to let them go. Besides manhandling and molesting the girls, the boys were laughing on them. They filmed the entire incident and posted it on social media. The shocking video surfaced days after four women of a family were gangraped near a highway close to Bulandshahr.
So where were the anti-romeo squads when these incidents were happening? Are women safe in UP? Has anything changed for women despite tall promises of women protection by Yogi Adityanath? These are some questions that will make the Yogi government uncomfortable.
Reacting to the molestation, Samajwadi party leader Azaam Khan said, “What is there to be surprised about. There have been so many rapes and murders (in the state) under the new government. After the Bulandshahr incident, everyone should try to keep women of the family indoors. Girls should not go to places, where trouble-makers roam free (jahan besharmi ka nanga naach ho raha ho). He also blamed “Yogiji and the media because of their negligence crime is increasing in UP”.
After coming to power in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi-Adityanath government had launched ‘anti-romeo’ squads to check eve-teasing in public areas, to ensure the safety of girls in the state. However, more than checking eve teasing, the squad indulged in harrassing young couples, drawing flak from all quarters, with many calling it ‘Taliban-like moral policing’. After criticism, the government renamed the anti-rome squad as Nari Suraksha Bal (Women’s Protection Force). But, incidents like Rampur have once again proved that UP government is working in wrong direction. It’s not the name but the strategy that need to be reworked.
The police meanwhile have lodged an FIR and arrested one of the accused and are trying to locate the two women who were harassed. “They might help us in correct identification of the accused,” said Rampur superintendent of police(SP), Nitin Tada, adding that a female officer headed that team.