The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to put up posters of those who harass and commit crimes against women and girls in a bid to name and shame them.
Announcing this in Lucknow today, the state’s Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said that the steps must be taken to ensure the strictest action against those who commit crimes against women so that females in the state feel safe and have an increased level of confidence in the police.
Posters of habitual offenders, put at prominent places, will deter them from committing such crimes.
This is not the first time that the government will affix posters to humiliate those it considers offenders. After the anti-CAA protests, it had put up posters of such participants against whom it had issued notices of recovery for damage to public property.
The ‘anti-Romeo’ squad in each district is to be strengthened and its activities are to be carried out with greater alacrity Awasthi announced.
The said squad was created by the incumbent state government soon after it came to power in 2017. These squads were stationed most prominently in front of schools and colleges to nip any incidents of eve-teasing and harassment. It is an overzealous squad that in the past has even hauled up brothers coming to pick up their sisters from their educational institutions.
The government has been heavily criticized for shutting down the 1090 Women’s Powerline which was launched in the tenure of its predecessor the Samajwadi Party. The helpline had gained huge popularity and was seen as prompt in acting in cases of crimes against women.
Awasthi said that the anti-Romeo squad had been effective. Since its inception, it had issued warnings to 35 lakh offenders and registered 7,351 cases. It had also made 11,564 arrests.
“Better performance is needed to bolster the image of the police in front of the public”, said Awasthi in a review meeting of police officials from eight divisions and two districts.
The squad has searched 83 lakh people in 35 lakh operations at schools, colleges, public places such as markets, malls and parks.
“Any untoward incident involving women should be nixed and strict action be taken against the offenders”, said Awasthi.