Republic Day celebrations in Uttar Pradesh will see the state machinery showcase the Yogi Adityanath government’s achievements in the nine months since its formation. On the list of the government’s accomplishments that it wishes to communicate to the people is the action taken by the “anti-Romeo” squads set up by the government within 72 hours of its taking charge.
Part of chief minister Adityanath’s poll promises in the run-up to the elections, the “anti-Romeo” squads in the state have filed 1,706 FIRs, implicating a total of 3,003 persons between March 22 and December 15 last year. The figures, reported by The Indian Express, are part of a communique sent out by UP Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar to all district magistrates on Monday.
As per the official figures, the squads, that were created to ensure the security of women and act against eve-teasers, have issued warnings to at least 9.33 lakh people and “inspected” over 21 lakh individuals in almost eight lakh visits. An “anti-Romeo” squad includes a police sub-inspector with at least two constables, including a woman. The squad patrols universities, colleges, cinema halls, parks and other public places identified as vulnerable to women.
Also on the list of achievements that the BJP government wants government officials to enumerate at public functions across the state on Republic Day is the action taken by the task force on land mafia that the government had set up after assuming power. As per the note by the Chief Secretary, anti-land mafia task forces identified 2,967 land mafias, booked 314 people under the Goondas Act, 61 under the Gangsters Act and 1,873 in other criminal cases, The Indian Express reported.
The government also claimed that 87,918 complaints of land encroachments were received till December 20 of which 77,373 complaints were disposed and 50,177 hectares of land reclaimed. Like the “anti-Romeo” squads, the setting up of the anti-land mafia task forces were also part of the BJP’s poll campaign last year. The saffron party had also invited complaints of alleged land-grab in the run-up to the polls.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had swept to power in Uttar Pradesh with a thumping majority on the promise of good governance and restoring law and order. The “anti-Romeo” squads, however, had drawn severe flak from opposition parties for its alleged ‘vigilante’ approach. The government responded by issuing guidelines for these squads to avoid any undue harassment.