Taking the CM’s words to heart, police in Meerut already have formed groups which are being called as ‘anti-romeo’ squads.

 

What do they do?

These squads are out to protect the honour of women.

 

Who makes up this squad?

  • Each team to consist of two policemen. Mostly one male and one female
  • Two to three teams could be deployed in the jurisdiction of one police station
  • Identify eve teasers and troublemakers in a crowd
  • Squad can be in uniform or in plain clothes
  • Anti romeo squads can let off miscreants with a warning, can inform parents and even initiate criminal action depending on the seriousness of the case

 

A Times of India report details how the Meerut romeo squad was the first in the districts to form. Further into the report, the sense of duty and protection disappeared.

 

How? While the squad formation is well-intentioned, the monitoring under it is being called to question now. Parents of some boys complained of being harassed unnecessarily as they were lectured on controlling their wards.

 

 

 

 

The operation has now spread to other places like Ghaziabad, Bulandsahr, Lucknow and more where the anti-romeo squads are out. Young boys loitering near colleges, girls-only hostels, paan shops, cigarette stalls, or even enjoying a meal with members of the opposite sex were picked up and are being looked upon with suspicion and being questioned.

 

A couple of them were picked up for standing there aimlessly and having no answer to the police queries. Why is it being called ‘moral policing’? The complainants  said the way the team was functioning  shifted between crime and moral policing. Some of the boys said, they were just hanging around waiting to meet friends in some colleges and their parents were being called to apprise them of their son’s activities or being let off with a warning.

 

 

 

It may be an initial overreaction to the whole order but the purpose of the squad and protection to the honour of women becomes suspect. All this while the police were doing their thing, weren’t they? Arresting eve-teasers and such troublemakers  is their job but come an official diktat only to prove a point if this operation is being conducted then surely it will die a death like all other ambitious programmes do.

 

The party and the police meanwhile have insisted that anti-romeo squads were no moral police. People have already begun drawing comparisons to Maharashtra where the Sena and police moral police is infamous.