The Chief Minister has also directed administrative and police officials in districts to regularly review the steps being taken for women security and inform senior officials on a regular basis, the official said.Stressing that his government was firm on upholding the security and dignity of women, he said a state-wide drive has been launched to free public places of anti-social elements and check incidents of eve-teasing, indecent behaviour and passing of lewd comments at women and girls.The UP Home department has issued fresh directives to identify those involved in misconduct at schools, colleges, bus stations, railway stations, malls and markets.The government is also firm on checking unnecessary harassment of girls and boys merely in the name of curbing eve-teasing in public places like coffee shops, markets and parks.The government has also made it clear that vigilantism of any sort in this regard will not be tolerated.‘No unnecessary harassment’With TV channels reporting that couples were being harassed and humiliated by anti-Romeo squads at some places, Adityanath asked officials to ensure there was no “unnecessary harassment“.The Chief Minister asked the Principal Secretary (Home) to chalk out clear guidelines for anti-Romeo squads and ensure there is no unnecessary harassment of boys and girls moving around or sitting at any place, an official release said.Anti-Romeo squads, a poll promise of the BJP that secured a remarkable victory in the Uttar Pradesh election, drew criticism from certain quarters with visuals of policemen targeting young boys and girls going viral on TV and on social media.“The idea is to question, check group of boys or boys alone near colleges and other places and create fear among potential harassers in public places,” said a police officer.However, it was being dubbed as an attempt at moral policing and widely criticised in some quarters as the modus operandi was being compared with the infamous ‘Operation Majnu’ in 2005, in which boys at crossings and markets were pulled up, and couples in gardens were thrashed by police.The officer sought to clarify that the only job (of the anti-Romeo squads) was to ensure safety of women and that eve-teasing does not take place.“For this we will also take preventive steps like not permitting miscreants to loiter in public areas frequented by women. I will not say it is moral policing,” he said.The Chief Minister, who holds the portfolio of Home department, has also asked for effective steps in cases of acid attacks.Mr. Adityanath has termed law and order as the top priority of his government and has asked for daily reports from all DMs and SPs on law and order. Acting on the Allahabad High Court’s order asking anti-Romeo squads to follow guidelines, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday directed the police to ensure that no inhumane measure was adopted in the name of ensuring security to women.There should be no shaving of heads, blackening of faces or “murga pose” (sit-ups while holding ears), a senior official said here.The guidelines have been issued after the intervention of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath amidst reports of harassment by anti-Romeo squads.These special squads of UP Police were formed after the Yogi Aditynath government assumed office this month, fulfilling one of the poll promises of the BJP.The Allahabad High Court had yesterday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that guidelines were followed by anti-Romeo squads and action was taken as per the law.The court’s Lucknow bench of justices Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Sanjay Harkauli had given the order on a PIL that alleged that police were not following the guidelines during the drive, aimed at checking eveteasing, and was harassing couples.Also Read After U.P., Bihar BJP demands anti-Romeo squads
More than 75% of the 7 lakh electorate on Monday cast votes in the bypolls to the three Assembly seats in West Bengal, amid allegations that Trinamool Congress activists orchestrated an attack on the BJP candidate from Karimpur segment, Joy Prakash Majumdar.The turnout was 77.17% in Kaliaganj, 67.62% in Kharagpur Sadar and 81.23% in Karimpur. Video footage aired by local television channels showed that a group of people surrounded Mr. Majumdar, staged a demonstration, and then started slapping and punching him before pushing him into the nearby bushes. The BJP candidate blamed the Trinamool for the attack and alleged that West Bengal’s ruling party was trying to “murder democracy”. ‘Attempt to murder’West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh called it an “attempt to murder” the party candidate and said the Trinamool was looking at an imminent defeat.The Trinamool leadership said the BJP leader was trying to garner sympathy. “This was a planned act to garner sympathy from the people,” Trinamool Congress secretary general and State Minister Partha Chatterjee said.In another incident at Kaliaganj, BJP candidate Kamal Chandra Sarkar was seen helping his wife cast her vote. The presiding officer of the polling booth was removed after the incident. In Kharagpur Sadar’s booth number 140, the BJP agent complained that the Electronic Voting Machine was strategically placed beside a mirror wall.Over 7.34 lakh voters were eligible to vote in 801 polling stations. Voters had to choose their representatives from among 18 candidates, including three women.Vacant seatsThe polls at Kharagpur Sadar and Karimganj were necessitated after the MLAs from the respective seats contested and won the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Dilip Ghosh, BJP MLA from Kharagpur Sadar, was elected from the Medinipur Lok Sabha seat and Mahua Moitra, MLA from Karimpur, won the Krishnanagar seat in Nadia district. The seat in Uttar Dinajpur district in Kaliaganj had been vacant after the death of Congress MLA Pramath Nath Roy in May 2019.