What is Anti Romeo squad in UP, which has been the talk of the town? Will it prove a boon in reducing crime against women in UP?
Romeo and Juliet are the eternal symbols of love. But in the 21st century, the definition of Romeo is no longer related to the Shakespearean hero. It has rather become the target of the Uttar Pradesh Police. In the pre-poll phase, an anti-Romeo squad was promised by BJP’s Yogi Adityanath to protect women from sexual harassment.
After political victory was achieved by the BJP, and Yogi Adityanath was appointed as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, several anti-Romeo squads were formed around the state. However, certain pictures of the squad members targeting the youth surfaced online, attracting a lot of criticism. The motive of the vigilante squad was overlooked, casting aspersions on the CM’s agenda.
Exactly what is Anti Romeo squad in UP? Uttar Pradesh is known for its alarmingly increased rate of crime against women. According to studies, the female population in UP has been at the receiving end of criminal discrimination. Since criminal offenses against women is not state-specific but something that concerns the entire nation, a strict action like anti-Romeo squad had to be initiated.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step, and the UP CM has done the right thing in initiating such a strict drive. However, the idea of appointing anti-Romeo squads outside university areas didn’t go down well with people, especially students who felt offended by the ‘invasion of privacy’.
People see in black or white. Most people criticizing the move fail to realize that there is a thin line between taking strict actions and causing havoc. But Yogi Adityanath demanded officials to ensure that no “unnecessary harassment” takes place in the process of securing the women in UP.
There have been many instances across India when cases of stalking, when neglected, led to harassment, rape, or even the murder of women. Negligence in such sensitive matters gives offenders the confidence to continue with their crimes. Not taking timely actions can result in rise in crime against women in the state:
- From March to August in 2016, UP registered 1,012 rape and 4,500 harassment cases.
- Uttar Pradesh is listed as the ‘most unsafe’ place for women to live as per the National Crime Record Bureau.
- A total of 38,467 registered cases of crime against women were recorded only in 2014.
- UP, according to National Crime Records, is a state with the highest crime rate. However, the per capita crime rate reduces because of the state’s surplus population, making it the 3rd safest state in India.
- During 2012-14 a total of 1,033 rapes with minor girls were recorded, which later increased to 1,619 rape cases that took place with girls aged from 11-16, during 2014-15.
- As per a comparative data analysis carried out by CAG, the crime against women in UP saw a rise of 61% from 2010 to 2015.
To put an end to crime against women in UP, Yogi Adityanath has taken the matter in his hands. Another factor that jolted the CM was his meeting with an acid attack victim at a hospital; an act that could have been prevented, had it been reported timely or the vigilant squad was present. The squad’s sole responsibility is to ensure women’s safety in UP by preventing eve-teasing and harassment. A fear factor needs to be generated amongst people in order to prevent the terrible criminal occurrences.
Now that Yogi Adityanath has ensured that unnecessary harassment of youth does not take place, the people of Uttar Pradesh can welcome the squad.