Yogi Adityanath’s Yuva Vahini after Meerut row: ‘Not against lovers, but will act against immorality’
On Tuesday, Hindu Yuva Vahini members barged into a room in Meerut’s Shastri Nagar locality and dragged out a man and woman after finding them in a “compromising position”.Updated: May 21, 2017 08:39 IST
The Hindu Yuva Vahini said on Thursday it wasn’t against lovers but would continue to act against “immorality” on “popular demand”, a day after its members dragged out a couple from their Meerut home and allegedly thrashed the man.
Their actions might have triggered widespread condemnation but members of the hardline group founded by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath appeared unfazed, saying they didn’t overstep their jurisdiction by intervening between two consenting adults.
“Our cadre acted on popular demand from locals. The rented room in the locality from where the youth was picked up had become a den of ‘ashleelta’ (vulgarity),” PK Mall, state president, told HT.
The comments came a day after Vahini members barged into a room and dragged out a man and woman after finding them in a “compromising position”.
Police said the man was Muslim and identified as Wasim while the woman was initially identified as Muslim but later confirmed as Hindu. “My inspector told me the woman was Muslim initially but later we confirmed her as Hindu,” superintendent of police Alok Priyadarshi told HT.
The incident sparked outrage with many people criticising the outfit for violating the right to privacy and acting as a vigilante group. The debate has been further stoked by the government setting up anti-romeo squads across the state that have allegedly harassed couples. But Vahini members said they were merely stopping sexual harassment.
“The locals sought our help. They were the ones who caught the Muslim youth with the Hindu girl and handed him over to the police. Our cadre arrived later but the media just splashed our role,” Mall added.
Another Vahini leader Ravindra Pratap Singh said they weren’t against couples or lovers.
“We are not against lovers per se. But please remember that our mandate is to act against all immoral things. So if the society needs us we would definitely act. This Meerut issue has deliberately been blown out of context,” he said.
Sanjeev Kumar, the outfit’s Kanpur in-charge said they didn’t interfere with consenting adults, in line with instructions by Adityanath, but would step in whenever anti-romeo squads were ineffective.
“We won’t get involved because that’s the job of the police and the administration. But while we aren’t against love, we surely are against eve teasing.”
First Published: Apr 13, 2017 16:28 IST