Jharkhand following the footsteps of UP: Anti-Romeo Squads Become Active in the state

Romeo in Jharkhand
Taking an indication from the Hindi heartland Uttar Pradesh, the eastern state of India Jharkhand has launched its own anti-Romeo squads.

Ranchi, March 25: Taking an indication from the Hindi heartland Uttar Pradesh, the eastern state of India Jharkhand has launched its own anti-Romeo squads.

The Jharkhand police jump on young men found pottering around schools and colleges without much more reason.

The Jharkhand Police, which is one of the top recruiters in India for constables, launched a special drive on Friday around women-only schools and colleges, seized some young men and also beaten them.

“The anti-Romeo drive has been launched to ensure the safety of the girls. Boys will not be harassed. The move is that girls are not harassed,” Senior Superintendent of Police Ranchi, Kuldeep Dwivedi, told reporters.
The Jharkhand police have also launched a mobile-based Shakti application in Ranchi and other parts of the state to help women in distress to send messages.
The Anti-Romeo squad has also been formed in the steel city of Jamshedpur. On Saturday, the squad launched a special drive near women’s colleges and other institutions. In these raids, four youths were detained.
Young women in the area have expressed their happiness on the move off Police.
“We had to face unpleasant comments while going to college and coaching institutes. We hope such a drive will stop this,” said Rubika, a Ranchi Women’s College student.

The squad which launched in Ranchi yesterday as the very name suggests, the squads – each comprising a mahila police officer (ASI or SI rank), a Mahila constable and two male constables – will patrol the city areas to prevent girls and women from being teased and groped by ‘roadside Romeos’, a mild term for harassers, something that every Ranchi girl will agree she faces regularly.

Worryingly, however, the initiative leaves ample scope of becoming a moral policing tool to harass dating couples or for male bashing without proper verification of facts. Also, some in Ranchi’s student community feel the idea behind the initiative was “more political” and its power can be misused.

On Thursday, state Director General Of Police (DGP) DK Pandey directed all Superintendent of Police (SPs) across Jharkhand through WhatsApp on forming Anti-Romeo squads.

Across Jharkhand’s cities, SPs have responded positively. Jamshedpur city Police Superintendent Prashant Anand said they were working on the directive and the city would see results very soon.

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