Anti-Romeo Squads: How long will they operate?
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Anti-Romeo Squads: How long will they operate?

Thought the initiative has created fear among eve-teasers in Ghaziabad, residents have some pertinent questions.

Anti-Romeo Squads: How long will they operate? Picture used for representative purpose only

Anti-Romeo Squads in Ghaziabad district has created a sense of fear among eve-teasers. In the last three days, the squad nabbed about 50 people. But according to the police, none of them were sent to jail. Many of them were slapped, threatened with dire consequences if they didn’t mend their ways, and were finally let off.

City Spidey caught up with a few residents to find out their views on the situation. Most of them feel that the initiative is just an old wine in a new bottle. Dinesh Parshad Mishra, a resident of Lucknow who came to visit his sister in Indirapuram, says, “Running such an operation is commendable but how long it will be run is more important. The idea is not new. I remember about 20 years ago, when I was in Lucknow University, a similar ‘anti-romeo’ operation was launched. But it disappeared without making an impact.”

When City Spidey spoke to some working women on the subject, it found that they also shared Mishra’s sentiments. Neera Rajput, a resident of Ahinsa Khand II, Indirapuram, who works with HCL in Sector 16, Noida, says, “Women face such ‘romeos’ every day. It is good that the government is giving priority to women's security but the police can’t reach every colony or street.”

The execution of the operation has also drawn criticism from residents. The reason is that many couples, who went to malls and market places, were questioned and asked to present identity proofs as part of the drive.

Despite the skepticism, the UP police’s efforts have borne fruit. Veerbhan Singh, a local shopkeeper opposite Express Garden Apartments in Indirapuram, says, “Five to six bikers used to come to my shop every evening and would take food items. If we questioned them, they would misbehave and even beat us. I haven’t seen them for the last three days.”       

In a telephonic conversation with City Spidey, Pradeep Tripathi, SHO of Vasundhara Police Station, said that five teams of police personnel in civil dress have been keeping an eye on areas such as markets, malls, St. Thomas group of schools and residential societies.

A police constable at Indirapuram police chowki, on condition of anonymity, said, “I haven’t gone home in the past five days. The police force in Ghaziabad is not adequate.”  

The “Anti-Romeo Squad” is the result of Yogi Adityanath’s, UP Chief Minister, directions to ensure women’s safety, which was one of the promises in his election manifesto.