Following Yogi Adiyanath’s first cabinet meeting on Tuesday, UP Minister Siddharth Nath Singh reflected on the Anti-Romeo squads in the state and said that these squads have been doing great work across the state. State Minister Siddharth Nath Singh also told reporters that before the inception of these squads, college and school going girls were being regularly harassed and teased but the situation had changed after these squads came into effect. Singh further alleged that the opposition leaders criticising the move were trying to tarnish the drive. The term Anti-Romeo squad was first used by BJP President Amit Shah in an election rally. It also happens to be one of the first poll promises made by the BJP.
Although, the anti-harassment squads have been accused by many of moral policing and often crossing the line physically. The Anti-Romeo squads have been seen on TV ordering men to do sit ups, squats and in an incident last week, the head of a man had been shaved off for sitting in a public place with an another woman. Responding to these allegations against the Anti-Romeo squads, Singh said that the police had been given specific instructions not to harass couples in public spaces. He added that they were only subject to action only if they were found guilty.Also watch:
According to NDTV, Singh dismissed all criticism that the squads had been rushed into duty without proper instructions guidelines, saying that they had been thoroughly briefed by senior authorities. The severe criticism that the Anti-Romeo squads faced had also made Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister issue orders to the squads and the police that couples should not be harassed. UP police chief Javed Ahmed has also banned the use of physical punishments by the squads.