NOIDA: Seventy boys and men have been given 'red cards' by the Anti-Romeo Squads of police in Noida and Greater Noida in one week for harassing females in public places, officials said on Monday.
In a unique effort, the district police had announced that it would issue "red cards" to such offenders as a warning before initiating criminal proceedings against them if they are caught indulging in the act again.
The initiative, hailed by the National Commission for Women (NCW), is aimed at making these squads more effective and preventing public nuisance and lewd remarks that are passed on girls or women by loiterers, the officials said.
"During the first week of the initiative, we reached out to girl students at 165 educational institutes in Gautam Buddh Nagar and informed them about safety options like 1090 women helpline, dial 100 services and the Anti-Romeo Squads of police that respond quickly in emergency situations," a police spokesperson said.
The Anti-Romeo Squads, deployed by police in Noida and Greater Noida, comprise two women and male constables each in plain clothes. Based on feedback from 8,600 girls and women, police have identified 275 such spots in the district which are considered vulnerable by them.
Deployment of the Anti-Romeo Squads will be stepped up in these areas accordingly, he said.
"Red cards have been issued to 70 boys and men during the first week of the initiative and their personal details like name, address, phone numbers have been registered so as to quickly track them down if they repeat the offence," the official said.
"We have also taken a picture of them to have psychological deterrence on them so that they don't engage in such acts again," he said.
The squads were constituted to check stalkers and eve-teasers in Uttar Pradesh soon after Yogi Adityanath assumed the office of the chief minister in 2017.
He had last month called for reviving these squads. There are 22 police stations in Gautam Buddh Nagar and all have Anti-Romeo Squads.