The Haryana government on Tuesday launched a statewide campaign called Operation Durga to check harassment of women in public spaces, on the lines of Uttar Pradesh government’s Operation Romeo that drew much criticism.
A state government spokesman said Haryana Police launched the operation in all districts in the state and 24 teams constituted by the chief minister’s flying squad nabbed 72 persons for alleged crimes against women in public places.
Last month, the chief minister’s flying squad had rounded up four couples in Gurgaon during a statewide operation.
In Gurgaon, the CID team carried out a ‘sanitizing operation’ at public colleges, and outside the schools to prevent ‘anti-social elements’ from harassing girls. An official said that four youth had been arrested by the team and they were handed over to police for further action.
Across the state, the police department constituted teams that comprised nine sub-inspectors, 14 assistant sub-inspectors, six head constables and 13 constables, including women staff, apart from other police personnel from each district.
These teams visited public places such as schools, colleges, bus stands and railway stations and nabbed people allegedly harassing women.
A state government spokesman said Operation Durga was launched to ensure safety of women and to encourage them to lodge complaints.
The action also comes in the wake of observations that women hesitated to report incidents involving anti-social elements in spite of that fact that women police stations had been opened in all the districts.
The campaign was undertaken after identifying places where such anti-social elements were involved in harassing women, passing vulgar comments, stalking and other similar activities, he added.
On September 26 last year, Gurgaon police had rounded up 76 people from MG road for misbehaving with women under operation Romeo.
Gurgaon police has been conducting such operations regularly but it is for the first time that a statewide operation has been launched at the initiative of the Haryana government.