Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Police has decided to strengthen its 'anti-Romeo squads' to protect women from stalkers and eve-teasers, official sources said.
Dressed in plain clothes, the sleuths — both men and women — would be deployed at public places like colleges, shopping malls, markets, parks, bus stands, stations and even schools, Director General of Police office sources said in the city. As part of its efforts to strengthen the squads, the personnel deployed would also be provided with wardrobe-mounted cameras to ensure that no one slips from the hands of the police.
The 'anti-Romeo squads' was formed soon after Yogi Adityanath assumed the office of chief minister in Uttar Pradesh, thereby fulfilling the BJP's election promise to 'protect the honour of women' once the party comes to power.
Since the squad was constituted after formation of the Adityanath government last year, as many as 34,49,646 persons were checked till July 12. Besides, 2,481 FIRs were lodged and action was taken against 4,392 persons, the sources said. Besides, 15,69,145 persons have been warned, they said.
During this period, 12,616,18 public places, schools, parks, bus stations, malls, markets were checked by the 'anti-Romeo squads'.
As per the official data, seven FIRs were lodged by the squad every day and 2,410 persons were warned daily by these squads across the state. As per the latest guidelines issued by the Uttar Pradesh Police, the youth who provoked others to take part in such activities aimed at troubling women would be provided with counselling by the police, if necessary, they said. All the police stations will have their own separate registers to keep a record of crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh, and review meetings will be held every week to check these crimes and the progress achieved.
The decision to strengthen these squads has been taken in mind so that the offenders do not go unchecked, the sources said. Several people have also complained of a feeling of terror among youth due to the 'anti-Romeo squads' as some of them were made to shave their heads or do sit-ups for eve-teasing.