Lucknow, May 20: A few months after the newly-formed Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh formed the anti-romeo squads to protect women from eve-teasers and molesters in public spaces, a report by The Hindustan Times says that the "pro-women group" will now be called as the Nari Suraksha Bal (Women Protection Force).
While the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath government did not specify the reason behind the change in name, reports indicate that the move was taken after the anti-romeo squads faced severe criticism from various sections of society.
The formation of the anti-romeo squads was a poll promise of the BJP. While many appreciated the Adityanath government initiative to protect women in the state, who often faced sexual assaults on the streets during the previous regime of the Samajwadi Party, others protested against the move as many men/boys complaint about harassment faced by them even for talking to girls/women.
Several reports said that many men/boys were asked to do sit-ups in public. There were also reports of men/boys being beaten badly by the members of the squads. One video clipping showed the head of a man being saved by the personnel of a squad for allegedly molesting a woman.
From Akhilesh Yadav to several Congress leaders, many openly criticised the functioning of the anti-romeo squads. One main criticism against the squad was its name itself because critics felt that Romeo a famous character by Shakespeare was not a molester, but a lover and lovers generally are not sexual predators.
After UP, BJP-ruled Haryana also formed a special group to protect women called --Operation Durga--in April.