One tight slap and sit ups (not to mention threats of being reported to one's parents and maybe some money extracted) is what you get for sitting with a member of the opposite sex in Ghaziabad parks.
Citing complaints of eve teasing, station house officer (SHO) of Ghaziabad, Alka Pandey, relaunched Operation Majnu saying it was meant to "stop innocent girls being trapped by boys with evil motives".
This despite similar "drives" in Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Aligarh last December receiving much flak. Then, the government even probed the beating up of young couples in a public park in Meerut and found three officials guilty.
When asked by the Times of India about the rationale behind the police action in Ghaziabad, Pandey said, "Our actions flow from instructions received from the administration to provide maximum security for women. There are a lot of eve-teasers and they stand outside girls' schools and colleges to trap unwitting girls," Pandey explains.
Led by Pandey, for the past three days, cops have been picking up young couples at parks and malls.
Pandey says people visiting the parks feel embarassed because of the behaviour of couples and compares them to squatters. "Is squatting wrong? I have to send a message to these boys who destroy the beauty of society. Squatting is a common form of punishment in schools. What is wrong if we implement it here?" she told the TOI.
Tripthi Budalkothi, an engineering student, seemed irked at the misplaced priorities of the UP police.
"Cops are coming unannounced; they are picking up random men by the collar. It seems holding hands is a crime. The kidnappings, murders and dowry deaths have not stopped in this district. Will such moral policing help solve these real crimes?" Budalkothi, an engineering student, told TOI.
While there's no clear answer as to whether or not the real crimes in UP will be solved by moral policing, couples will have to face the rap, at least till Ghaziabad's cops don't face the music for their actions.
In a late evening development, SHO Alka Pandey was suspended on charges of harassing couples who were chatting in parks in Sahibabad, SSP Raghubir Lal told PTI.
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Updated Date: Dec 01, 2011 08:24:18 IST