The Anti Romeo Squad in U.P.: Innocents may not be caught!!
The BJP government while campaigning in the State of Uttar Pradesh before a big win in Assembly elections had highlighted the women safety as their priority agenda. As the time has come to fulfill the promises made during elections, the BJP government has appointed Anti-Romeo Squad which will take care of the eve teasing elements near girl’s colleges, schools and roads. According to the government, this will help in curbing down the incidences of sexual harassment on women. Though the idea seems noble, the main fear is about the freedom of the innocent people that may be mistaken as the ‘Majnus’ of the town should not be curbed down. It is being speculated that some boys go to pick up their girlfriends or sisters from colleges would also face troubles of unnecessary questioning by the Anti Romeo squads. The Government has been trying to emphasize that the safety of women in the State is their sole intent to bring out the squad and it does not mean to harass the innocent people.
The apprehensions are that these Anti Romeo Squad in the name of protecting women should not turn up to be doing moral policing. Some instances have been reported by media that innocent boys are being targeted in various regions of U.P. and if anyone has some work near a girl’s college, they are feared to go to their work due to the risk of being caught as Romeos of the street. The culmination of Anti Romeo Squad into moral police is a major risk factor involved. In an era when the right of freedom of speech and expression is not being denied to anyone, moral policing cannot be justified. The Public also would not like to answer the questioning sessions of the couples or males by Anti Romeo Squad officials. They have a right to roam around with whosoever they wish to. Somewhere it is felt that the glorifying idea of a state which is safe for women cannot be conceptualized by mere appointment of the Anti Romeos on streets. It needs a major overhaul of the complete law and order system in the State. Though the results are yet to come out, if the idea of the Anti Romeo Squads succeeds, U.P. will take a step further to become a safe heaven for women. We just hope that it does not turn out to be a sign of dictatorship in State.