“NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Outrage and protests mounted in India Wednesday after TV channels showed police officers repeatedly slapping, punching and pulling the hair of young women on a date in a public park in a north Indian city. Indian media reported one couple was so humiliated by the police action in front of TV crews they have not returned home.
“Is falling in love wrong? Who gave the police the right to beat and hit people and misbehave in such a manner,” a woman in Meerut city in Uttar Pradesh state told Aaj Tak television news.
Since Tuesday, shocked TV viewers in India have been watching images of female officers pummelling and abusing crying young women in Meerut in what the media is calling “moral policing.”
TV footage also showed male policemen with sticks surrounding the scared women and taking them to women officers who beat them. Several of their male companions were beaten also.
The police operation, termed “operation Romeo,” in a popular park in Meerut Monday was touted by police as a move to prevent sexual harassment of women.
It turned out to be something very different.
In Meerut, students shouting “Down with police dictatorship” have staged demonstrations and burned effigies of police officers.
The outcry, including from women groups, has forced the police to suspend two women officers and probe the incident.’
There is something very wrong with this.