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Friday, July 20, 2018

Filing 6 cases a day over 9 months, UP’s anti-Romeo squad keeps a BJP promise

The creation of such squads, meant for “security of women”, was among the BJP’s key election promises, along with the land mafia task force, in the run up to polls in 2017.

Written by Lalmani Verma | New Delhi | Updated: January 24, 2018 8:32:57 am
Uttar Pradesh anti-romeo squads, yogi adityanath, UP moral police According to the communication, the anti-Romeo squads, during this period, issued warnings to at least 9.33 lakh people and “inspected” over 21 lakh individuals in almost eight lakh visits. (Photo: IANS/File)

With six cases on average registered everyday and 3,003 people implicated over a nine-month period in 1,706 incidents, Uttar Pradesh’s anti-Romeo squads have made it to a list of government achievements to be publicised on Republic Day.

Also part of the BJP’s poll manifesto, the anti-Romeo squads were announced by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath across the state soon after assuming power last year. The squad’s achievements — between March 22 and December 15 last year — are part of a communication UP Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar sent Monday to all district magistrates ahead of Republic Day.

This, with the accomplishments of the anti-land mafia task force, are among the numerous government achievements in law and order that will be highlighted by relevant government officers during the state’s public functions on January 26.

According to the communication, the anti-Romeo squads, during this period, issued warnings to at least 9.33 lakh people and “inspected” over 21 lakh individuals in almost eight lakh visits.

The creation of such squads, meant for “security of women”, was among the BJP’s key election promises, along with the land mafia task force, in the run up to polls in 2017, and had drawn sharp criticism from opposition parties over its vigilante approach.

Uttar Pradesh, anti-romeo squads, anti-romeo, yogi adityanath, adityanath anti-romeo, UP Police, moral police, up anti-romeo

Under fire, the government finally issued guidelines for the squads and imposed curbs against unnecessary harassment. An anti-romeo includes a police sub-inspector with at least two constables, including a woman. The squad patrols universities, colleges, cinema halls, parks and other public places identified as vulnerable for women.

Kumar’s note also stated that the anti land mafia task forces identified 2,967 land mafias, booked 314 people under the Goondas Act, 61 under the Gangsters Act and 1,873 in other criminal cases. The government also claimed that 87,918 complaints of land encroachments were received till December 20 of which 77,373 complaints were disposed and 50,177 hectares of land reclaimed.

The BJP had even invited complaints of alleged land grabbing across the state during the election campaign last year.

The CS’s communication comprises an annexure of 12 pages and list “166 steps” the government has taken in its 10-month tenure. Under the title, “Astha ko naman” (saluting faith), the government listed steps taken to providing facilities for religious pilgrimages.

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