In the last couple of days, Uttar Pradesh was rocked by at least five cases of crime against minor girls.
As the state's administration came under the scanner, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a high-level meeting in the capital Lucknow where he ordered the revival of anti-Romeo squads.
The meeting was attended by the Home Department, the state police, and women welfare officers.
To begin with, why were anti-Romeo squads formed?
Formation of squads to "protect the honor" of women was one thing which BJP promised before 2017 UP assembly polls.
Each such team consists of two policemen, mostly one male and another female officer.
The teams are tasked with identifying eve-teasers and troublemakers in the crowd. Though two-three teams were deployed for each station, their numbers increased in areas with schools and colleges.
But, they stayed in news for all the wrong reasons
Though these squads were tasked with controlling harassment, some of them turned out to be a nightmare.
Their high-handed moral policing landed them in controversies, but it seems Adityanath is willing to take the risk.
Reports claimed Adityanath got angry at the meeting as he had ordered revival of these squads in February itself, but the plan didn't materialize due to Lok Sabha polls.
Anti-Romeo squad won't question those moving with consent
In what seems like an attempt to curtail controversies surrounding the squads, Principal Secretary, Home, Arvind Kumar, said the anti-Romeo groups would not take action against boys and girls moving together with mutual consent.
Reportedly, the anti-Romeo squad will conduct a state-wide drive in June, wherein the members will remain active in "public places and sensitive spots" to initiate action against harassers.
Adityanath asked DGP to identify heinous cases against minors
Adityanath issued several orders in the meeting. He directed DGP OP Singh to identify 10 most heinous crimes against minors and take the cases to fast track courts.
DGP Singh said, "We are trying our best to not just solve the cases but ensure the strictest punishment for culprits in Kushinagar, Hamirpur and Aligarh cases."
He added statements of minor victims have been recorded.
Adityanath ordered SSPs to visit police stations daily
Separately, ADG, IG, and DIG have been directed to take frequent field trips and SSPs have been ordered to visit police stations on a daily basis.
"The CM has asked for regular random checking of vehicles. He also said that men on bikes doing stunts, or those with their faces covered should be discouraged," an official told TOI.