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Posted Oct 2017
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The Allahabad high court on 30th march 2017 declared that anti-Romeo squads are legal and there are here to say that the verdict was given by the court while quashing the public interest litigation that challenged the legality of anti-Romeo squads of Uttar Pradesh police department.
Now, what are anti-Romeo squads?
By delivering on its poll promise, the yogi Aditya Nath-leader of BJP government issued an order regarding the formation of anti-Romeo squads. These are special teams to make public places safe and secure for girls and women. These squads consist of police personnel, majority women constables, and are deployed in shows, marketplaces, malls and parks in plain or civil clothes so that they won’t be recognized as the police officers.
A major debate is on the anti-Romeo squads whether it's a lawful policing or moral policing? Though the idea behind the formation of anti-Romeo squads is to improve the security of women by keeping a check on the roadside stalkers. The practice has been considered as the “moral policing” and attracted criticism from certain sections of the society.
Major loopholes or issue related to the functioning of the anti-Romeo squads are:-
Legal proceeding related to the protection of women:-
Under the Indian penal code
The section 149 of the criminal procedure code and the section 12, 23 and 34 of the police act, 1861 are also provided for the protection of women from harassment.
Following are the statistics shows the pathetic situation of women in the country:-
Initiatives like Anti-Romeo squad are not new to Uttar Pradesh, way back in 1998 prohibition of harassment of women Act, was enacted by Tamil Nadu for stringent punishments to stalkers. In 2005, “operation manju” was launched by the state government to check eve-teasing. In 2013, goa legislative assembly enacted the rights of citizens to time-bound delivery of public service act to prevent any kind of harassment and eve teasing. In 2014, Telangana government started SHE teams to curb harassment of women in public places.
In view of this, following precautionary measures should be taken for the effective functioning of anti-Romeo squads.
Years ago, famous lines quoted by the father of the nation, mahatma Gandhi “The day a woman can walk freely on the roads at the night, that day we can say that India has achieved independence.” but unfortunately even after so long, near about seven decades of independence, we as a society failed to provide a safety and secure environment for girl and to the women in public, private and digital space.
Hence in order to solve this situation, it is high time the government should initiate more such pro-active measures to make our streets safe and secure for girls and women.
Posted Oct 2017
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