Three constables of the Uttar Pradesh Police were suspended on Friday after a video showing anti-Romeo squad officials shaving the hair off a man’s head in Shahjahanpur went viral. Senior Superintendent of Police KB Singh said constables Suhail Ahmed, Laiek Ahmed and Sonu Pal seemed to be involved in the incident.
“Prima facie it appears that they were present there and failed to stop those who were shaving the head of the victim. I have ordered their suspension on this ground,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.
However, no formal complaint has been lodged against the constables. Circle officer (city) Avneesh Chandra Srivastav said that a report with the statements of the accused will be sent to SSP Singh on Saturday. “The policemen involved in shaving the head of the boy have been identified and action has been taken against them. So far, no complaint has been filed by anyone against the policemen,” he told The Times of India.
The incident had happened on March 22 at a public park in Shahjahanpur. The man was caught with a female friend who belonged to a different religion, reported The Times of India. In the video, which went viral on Friday, the three constables are seen standing near the man whose head was being shaved by a barber. The woman was asked to leave.
The “anti-Romeo” squad reportedly called a barber to tonsure the man’s head because he allegedly molested a woman, reported ANI. In the video, the man can be heard saying, “Mein to kuch kar hi nahi raha tha (I wasn’t doing anything)” while unidentified voices said, “Shut up and sit down”, reported India Today. Senior police officers, however, said the constables were not part of the anti-Romeo squad floated by the government recently.
This comes even as Uttar Pradesh police chief Javed Ahmed issued a letter to his force on Friday, detailing how the anti-Romeo squads should function. The forms of punishment not allowed include shaving hair and blackening men’s faces.
Earlier, a girl and her cousin were harassed and detained during the anti-Romeo drive. Two policemen were suspended after the incident. Chief Minister Adityanath has repeatedly said that the squad would not harass couples spending time in public.