Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday directed officials to name and shame people involved in eve-teasing and harassment of women by putting up posters carrying their names and photos in public places.
“The Chief Minister has directed that posters of criminals involved in molesting women, girls and children, misbehaviour and sexual harassment cases be displayed on road intersections and public places, along with the names of those aiding such criminals, so that people come to know about them,” a statement issued by the government said.
The directives were issued after the CM took cognizance of an incident that took place in Kanpur on Thursday morning when a 21-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly assaulted by two youths who were stalking her. The two were later arrested and booked for attempt to murder, molestation and criminal intimidation. The duo was also charged under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The statement issued by the government also said that Adityanath directed police in every district to keep working for women safety like the anti-Romeo squads, “which have shown great results and discouraged eve-teasers”. Moreover, in case of an incident of crime against women in an area, the beat in-charge, the police outpost in-charge, the police station in-charge and the circle officer concerned would be held responsible, it added.
Also, directions have been that “such criminals be punished by women police personnel to send a strong message,” the statement read.
Later, the state Home Department said that in accordance with the CM’s directions, anti-Romeo squads will be further strengthened. “To put a stop on incidents of molestation and eve-teasing, the anti-Romeo squads are active in every district. In a meeting with the home and police department officials, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said that by taking strict and effective action, a better image of the police will be presented so that women can have an increased faith in the department,” read the statement.
It also said that anti-Romeo squads “checked” more than 83 lakh people in over 35 lakh schools, colleges and public places, like markets, malls and parks. Based on the “checking”, cases were registered against 7,351 people and 11,564 were arrested, while more than 35 lakh people were let off after proper warning.
Speaking to The Indian Express, DGP Hitesh Chandra Awasthy refused to comment on the direction of putting of posters of those committing crime against women, saying that he was yet to receive an official order. “I have not yet received any such communication, and once we get it, we will act on it accordingly. We have, however, re-issued directions that we have to be very careful about such crimes taking place and have to take strong action against such people. A similar order was issued by me around 20-25 days ago,” the DGP said.
Among a host of directions issued by the DGP included immediate registering of FIRs and making arrests in connection with crimes against women, regular patrolling in sensitive areas, use of body-worn cameras, installation of CCTV cameras in public places, schools, malls and parks, complaint boxes in girls colleges, escorting woman to their destination in the night among others.
When asked that the “name and shame” action would be taken against the two youngsters who were arrested on Thursday for alleged assault on a college girl, Kanpur DIG Preetinder Singh said that putting up posters of the offender in such crimes is needed when police are not able to find and arrest them. “The important thing in such cases is taking strict action against such people. In this particular case, we arrested the accused within two hours of the crime taking place. As far as putting up posters is concerned, we will be doing so only in cases in which the accused is absconding,” Singh added.
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