Yogi Adityanath orders revival of anti-Romeo squads
After a series of heinous crime cases against girls in the state triggered public outrage, chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday ordered the state police to re-activate anti-Romeo squads to take strict action against anti- social elements who harass girls.
The chief minister issued this and other directives while chairing a high-level meeting of the home department, the state police and women welfare officers.
In consonance with this directive, the anti- Romeo squad will conduct a statewide drive in June, during which its members will be active at public places and sensitive spots to take strict action against harassers.
The women welfare department and the state police will run a joint awareness drive on women’s safety in schools during the new academic session starting in July.
After assuming office in March 2017, Yogi Adityanath had ordered constitution of the anti- Romeo squads to check harassment of girls. The squads later became dormant after controversy over high-handedness and moral policing.
Principal secretary, Home, Arvind Kumar, who was present at the meeting, said, there will be no moral policing by the anti- Romeo squads, nor will action be taken against girls and boys who are found moving together with mutual consent.
The principal secretary said senior women Indian Police Service officers of additional director general rank, including Anju Gupta, Renuka Mishra, Neera Rawat and Tanuja Srivastava, will visit various police zones to review cases of crime against women, action taken by the police, progress of cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and measures by the district police to check crime against women.
In a press statement, the state government said the chief minister told the officers that the police will select 10 top heinous crime cases against minor girls in each range and refer them to fast track courts for quick action against the culprits.
People involved in crime against women/ girls will be identified and anti-social elements will be bound down by local police, the chief minister said, adding the state government will provide them with security to protect women.
Adityanath, who will chair another meeting of district magistrates and superintendents of police on June 12, directed the officers to organise foot patrol, make Dial 100 effective and station the police response vehicles in commercial and sensitive areas.
Random checking of vehicles will be organised across the state to check crime.
Officers of the rank of additional director general, inspector general and the deputy inspector have been asked to visit the field areas for effective policing
and crime control in the districts.
Besides, the superintendents of police will go to various police stations daily, he said.
The chief minister said measures should be taken to check domestic violence against women, along with strengthening women helpline 181 and women powerline 1090.
The police should create awareness about the helpline among women and girls.
A home department officer said the state government was considering to integrate the helplines with Dial 100.
Chief secretary Anup Chandra Pandey, principal secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar, principal secretary (CM) SP Goel, principal secretary (women welfare) Monika Garg and director general of police OP Singh were present at the meeting.