Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Anti-Romeo squad has come into action in the state. Active since yesterday, the Anti-Romeo squads have been reported to have taken arrested 3 men in Lucknow, while teenagers were outside schools and colleges were detained and questioned. Yogi Adityanath seems to have come down hard on the abysmal law and order situation in the state with the activation of the new concept of anti-Romeo squads as soon as he took charge of the office. While the strict actions by these squads have raised a few questions about the intentions of the squads and naturally moral policing has come to the debate.
Uttar Pradesh Deputy General of Police, Javeed Ahmed said that the safety of women was the sole intent of these Anti-Romeo squads and there would be no moral policing involved. Ahmed further said that the idea was to reclaim public spaces and make them safe for women. The DGP had been told by the Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath to devise plans to tackle the poor law and order condition in the state, something which also had been one of the major promises made by the Narendra Modi-led Bhartiya Janata Party during the election campaigns. The BJP had managed to win a massive 315 out of 403 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
Although according to a report by India today, BJP’s national co-convenor Sunil Bharala had said that these anti-Romeo squads would take strict action against love-jihad. Bharala had added that in ‘love-jihad’, innocent women were targeted and lured and these anti-Romeo squads would make sure that it won’t happen. Although it is still early days and the squads seem to have been doing a fine job, it is still to be seen, if the line between protecting and moral policing becomes a blur.