Social media users are sharing an image of a young girl and a boy being questioned by the police while some people are taking photos. The image is being shared with a description to portray that the image is of a recent raid by police in Noida and is being shared with a Love Jihad angle to it.
The image is being shared on social media with the caption, "There is a park in Noida's Okhla named Budh park. Yesterday, a boy and a girl were caught there by Yogi Ji's anti-Romeo squad. When the names were asked, the girl told her name to be Vandana while the boy told her name to be Lalit. Both said they were sitting here by choice. The police uncle did not agree and asked them to show their ID. The girl immediately showed the college ID. The boy became hesitant, so the Police constable twerked his ears, after which he took out his ID from his wallet. His name was Rehan. The girl was astonished. Vandana was not able to see anything except the locket hanging in the neck of Lalit. Did you understand? Why is this anti-Romeo squad made? Explain to your sisters and daughters to not have a friendship with any boy without the approval of your family. Do not get into any kind of trap or temptation."
नोएडा में ओखला के पास एक पार्क है । नाम है बुद्ध पार्क.....
कल वहाँ एक लड़का और एक लड़की को पकड़ लिया योगी...Posted by Smita Shukla on Tuesday, 30 March 2021
The post is viral on Facebook.
The image is also viral on Twitter.
The viral image shows a recent crackdown by the anti-Romeo squad in a park exposing a case of Love Jihad.
The Logical Indian did a reverse image search and found a similar image was published by Deccan Herald on March 31, 2017. The caption of the image said, "The guidelines have been issued after the intervention of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath amidst reports of harassment by anti-Romeo squads". According to the article, the Allahabad High Court gave an order asking anti-Romeo squads to follow guidelines. As per the guidelines, police need to ensure that no inhumane measure was adopted in the name of ensuring security to women.
The Statesman also published the same image on March 30, 2017. According to the article, Anti-Romeo squads undertook a massive exercise to check eve-teasing at public places. The caption of the image said that the viral image is from Lucknow.
Anti-Romeo squad is an initiative by the Uttar Pradesh government to keep a check on eve-teasing at public places. However, many police officials were indulged in moral policing like the shaving of the head, blackening of the face of the guy or murga position during such drives.
A similar image was published by The Quint on March 27, 2017. According to the report associated with the story, two policemen were suspended for allegedly harassing and taking bribe from youth and his cousin, whom they have detained under anti-Romeo squad drive. The report quoted Superintendent of Police KK Chaudhari, who said, "on 26 March, sub-inspector Sanjeev Giri and constable Vimal detained a youth and his uncle's daughter, both aged about 18, when they went to purchase medicines from their native Hashmat Ganj village."
Vishwas News contacted Praveen, a crime reporter from Gautam Budh Nagar, who said that viral post is fake. According to him, there has been no such checking in Noida. It also spoke to Gyan Mishra, a crime reporter of Lucknow, who identified the police inspector in the image as DK Upadhyay, who is now a Deputy SP of Maharajganj district, previously posted in Lucknow.
Alt News reached out to inspector DK Upadhyay who recognized the image, "It's been several years since this incident happened. I don't recollect the details. However, to the best of my knowledge, this incident is not related to love jihad".
The viral photo being shared with the claim of Love Jihad has been used in many media reports since March 2017
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