After UP's 'Anti-Romeo Squad', Haryana Launches 'Operation Durga'

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Haryana government launched 'Durga Vahini' to ensure women's safety in the state (Representational)


Chandigarh:  Nearly a month into the controversy over Yogi Adityanath government's Anti-Romeo squads, the BJP government of neighbouring Haryana announced the launch of Durga Vahini - police squads that would aim to stop harassment of women on public spaces. Over the last 24 hours, the units have caught 72 men and handed them over to the local police stations, the Haryana police have said.

Haryana minister Anil Vij, however, said Durga Vahini was not on the lines of the anti-Romeo squads in Uttar Pradesh. While strong action will be taken against "eve-teasers", "the government has directed the police to take precautionary measures to avoid causing any inconvenience to the innocent," news agency Press Trust of India quoted the minister as saying.  

Moreover, the state government had "already established women police stations in all the districts to ensure women's safety," the minister was quoted as saying.

The Anti-Romeo Squads -- a BJP pre-election promise fulfilled by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath a day after he took oath -- generated a huge debate after allegations of police excesses and moral policing.

While the police were supposed to crack down on Romeos - a term loosely used for molesters -- reports from various parts of Uttar Pradesh alleged the police were targeting of couples. Cellphone videos were circulated that showed the police meting out a rough and ready justice, forcing men to do squats and shaving off their hair.

Following the lead of Uttar Pradesh, the BJP government of Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh also decided to crack down on the 'Romeos'. "We will reform 'majnu-type' of persons. They don't know how to respect (women)... A campaign will be launched against majnus," Mr Chouhan had said.


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