New Deilhi: Ever since Yogi Aadiyanath has been sworn in as the 21st Chief Minister of the state,one of the major poll promises of the Bhartaya Janata Party (BJP) has been introduced. Anti- Romeo squad to curb instances of harassment of girls and eve-teasing and special UP police team and vigilanties have created a stir across the county with the release of video footage's showcasing innocent men and couples being subjected to harsh treatment instead of actually cracking down on those who stalk andd molest women. The state forces claim that they can identify "Romeos" by "the look in their eyes".
Controversial Hindutva leader Sadhvi Prachi said today that Yogi Adityanath becoming the chief minister, has 'prevented' the state from turning into 'another Pakistan'.
"By becoming the Chief Minister of UP. Yogi Aditynath has not only ushered in a feeling of happiness and enthusiasm among the public, but also prevented it from becoming another Pakistan," Sadhvi Prachi told reporter today.
Meanwhile, the international media also reacted to the new developments in the largest state of India.
The Washington Post
According to the American daily, Aditynath has made his presence felt with twin decisions of shuttering illegal slaughterhouses and launching "anti-Romeo squads". "Adityanath, a saffron-robed priest, a five-time member of Parliament, had promised the squad as a public safety measure during a heated state election campaign, but some compared them to moral policing," it added.
According the British daily, the controversial 'anti-Romeo squad' set up to control young couples in public are spreading across the country after they were given a nod by the UP's firebrand Hindu leader, who is accused of instigating religious tensions and also jailed in 2007 on charges of inciting riots. The newspaper further said that the squads have been "accused of Taliban-like" moral policing by patrolling public spaces to prevent men from loitering near women." Many state parks have gone empty, where the young couples generally used to find privacy. According to the paper, the move has been invited by mixed responses with women's college principals and female students welcoming efforts to protect them from unruly men. However, they have been dismissed as a 'political gimmick' by opposition parties.
The Daily Express
The British daily said, the initiative of 'anti-Romeo' squads has sparked outrage among parents who feel their sons have been targeted. The newspaper was reacting to a shocking footage in some undercover officers are seen attacking men suspected to have been harassing women in UP.
"Another addition to the city streets last week were squads of police officers hunting so-called "Romeos". Along with a ban on buffalo slaughter, cracking down on amorous young men was a key campaign promise of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party. Officially, the police is targeting "eve-teasing", the endemic sexual harassment that blights some Indian streets. But critics instead see a crackdown on mixed-religion couples, in line with Adityanath's fevered, baseless warnings that Muslim men are trying to seduce Hindu women as part of "love jihad".