- 'Anti-romeo' squads in UP to check eve-teasing, crimes against women
- The unique police patrols were promised in BJP's vision document
- UP police chief has been asked to come up with a plan for better policing
Since yesterday, police teams have been on patrol near colleges, malls, parks and other public places. Instructions have gone to police stations that action has to be taken against "Romeos" - a term that loosely describes men who stalk and harass women. Surprise checks have produced offenders in many cities. Over 900 have been questioned since yesterday.
As visuals strongly suggested moral policing and intimidation of couples, assurances were offered by the police as well as the government. "They have been instructed that innocent people or those sitting with their friends should not be harassed," said minister Siddharth Nath Singh.
Three men were arrested yesterday in Lucknow. In Meerut, teens were hauled up outside girls' schools and colleges and questioned. Footage from Jhansi showed a police officer ordering sit-ups after cornering a boy sitting with a group of girls.
"The ideal is to reclaim public spaces and make them safe for women," said Mr Ahmed, who was told by Yogi Adityanath on Monday to come up with a plan to improve law and order.
The saffron-robed priest-politician had said during his campaign that "love jihad" was an important poll issue for the BJP. One BJP leader, Sunil Bharala, went further and said last month that action would be taken in cases of "love jihad that targets innocent girls".