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Anti-Romeo squads doing a good job, says Uttar Pradesh govt, blames opposition for creating controversy

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday said the anti-Romeo squads were doing a "good job" and slammed opposition parties for creating a controversy about them.

Couples have been hounded by the Uttar Pradesh police under the Yogi Adityanath government. Reuters

Couples have been hounded by the Uttar Pradesh police under the Yogi Adityanath government. Reuters

Addressing the media after the first Cabinet meeting of the Yogi Adityanath government, state's power minister Srikant Sharma said, "Anti-Romeo squads are doing a good job and are being hailed by the people of the entire state."

Sharma said that opposition parties tried to create controversy and demean it after the squads were formed. He said that before going to the field, members of the squads are properly briefed by senior police officials.

Anti-Romeo squads, a poll promise of the BJP that secured a remarkable victory in the Uttar Pradesh election, drew criticism from certain quarters, with visuals of policemen targeting young boys and girls going viral on TV and on social media.

"The idea is to question, check group of boys or boys alone near colleges and other places and create fear among potential harassers in public places," said a police officer.

However, it was being dubbed as an attempt at moral policing and widely criticised in some quarters as the modus operandi was being compared with the infamous 'Operation Majnu' in 2005, in which boys at crossings and markets were pulled up, and couples in gardens were thrashed by police.

The officer sought to clarify that the only job (of the anti-Romeo squads) was to ensure safety of women and that eve-teasing does not take place. "For this we will also take preventive steps like not permitting miscreants to loiter in public areas frequented by women. I will not say it is moral policing," he said. The chief minister, who holds the portfolio of Home department, has also asked for effective steps in cases of acid attacks.

Adityanath has termed law and order as the top priority of his government and has asked for daily reports from all DMs and SPs on law and order.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Apr 04, 2017 22:35 PM

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