Uttar Pradesh’s Anti-Romeo Squads now have a list of do’s and don’ts

Meerut: Amid heavy criticism over reports of “heavy-handedness” and “moral policing”, the Uttar Pradesh’s Anti-Romeo Squads have been handed out a list of strict do’s and don’ts by the police top brass on the orders of the Allahabad High Court.Uttar Pradesh's Anti-Romeo Squads now have a list of do's and don'ts

 The court’s Lucknow bench of justices Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Sanjay Harkauli had given the order on a PIL that alleged that police were not following the guidelines during the driveThe list comes out just days after a girl in Mainpuri was told to hold her ears and do sit-ups and a video of the incident went viral on social media. The squads, formed by the new government in UP to reduce instances of harassment of women and “eve-teasing” in public places, have been told to curb their outward approach towards youths.

Senior officials have made a set of rules and marked various “no-go zones” for Anti-Romeo Squads as they go about their job. “We have issued strict guidelines to the cops. They have been directed not to unnecessarily enter parks just to catch couples. Besides, there should not be any commenting or moral policing from their end. And punishing them is a big no. We have also instructed the squads to focus only on eve-teasers or those with ‘evil’ intentions.”  Ravinder Goud, the Meerut SSP, told The Times of India.

The SPP also implied that the squad should stay in touch with principals and teachers of schools and colleges for assistance on providing a safe environment for women.

“We have also communicated to the squads that if any cop is found using force to humiliate an innocent person either by slapping or any other means, strict action will be taken against the concerned policeman,” Goud said.

The UP Police has come under fire while carrying out their duties as the anti-Romeo squad. In Rampur, police on Sunday detained a “couple” from a medicine shop for five hours. They eventually turned out to be cousins.

Incidents like these and many others drew heavy criticism on social media. In a bid to ensure that nobody is harassed unnecessarily, the UP CM last week assured that couples who are together with consent would not be troubled.

Bureau Report

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