Anti-Romeo squads, which undertook a massive exercise to check eve-teasing at public places, lodged 538 cases and initiated legal action against 1,264 people in Uttar Pradesh in past two months. According to an official release, 3,38,344 people, mostly youths, were let off with warnings by the squads of policemen. During the period between March 22 and May 28, the squads questioned over seven lakh people at more than two lakh spots including malls, markets, outside schools, colleges and educational institutions, bus and railway stations.
Anti-Romeo squads, a poll promise of the BJP, were set up by the Yogi Adityanath government soon after coming to power with an aim to ensure safety of women, especially young girls. The squad had also attracted criticism from some quarters after visuals of policemen targeting young boys and girls were shown on the TV and on social media.
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At a few places in the state, some youths were made to do sit-ups at busy crossings holding their ears and taking pledge not to indulge in eve-teasing. Later, however, the government issued strict instructions to the police and the anti-Romeo squads to exercise restraint, saying things like shaving of heads or blackening of face should not be done or innocent people harassed.