A very disturbing incident has come to light in Kanpur. A man allegedly raped and filmed several women after finding them with their male companions in the jungles of Asalatganj in Kanpur Dehat’s Rasoolabad area. Police arrested him on Thursday. A mobile phone containing obscene photographs and videos of women has been seized from his possession.
While there have been regular instances of gory sexual harassment and crime against women, this planned predatory crime of a different breed is equally worrisome. Uttar Pradesh has been in the spotlight quite a few times for the notorious acts of its Anti-Romeo squad which involved beating up, or abusing young couples and shaming them publicly for merely spending time together.
The accused took advantage of their environment of fear and capitalized on it. Police said the accused, identified as Pramod aka Kallu Yadav, runs a Grahak Sewa Kendra in Asalatganj. He used to impersonate as a police official or a media person and sexually assaulting several women after filming them with their boyfriends in Asalatganj jungles. He also blackmailed and extorted money from them at times, police added.
Speaking to The Times of India, Superintendent of Police (Kanpur Dehat) Keshav Kumar Chaudhary said, “There were inputs that a man, claiming to be a policeman, used to harass women, who visit jungles of Asalatganj in Rasoolabad along with their boyfriends.” Subsequently, the police initiated an investigation. On the basis of inputs, the investigating officials zeroed in on Yadav. They picked him up for interrogation on Thursday.
“During interrogation, he confessed that he used to shoot intimate videos and photos of women with their boyfriends. Many times, he raped them, besides also snatching their phone and cash, and blackmailing them,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, the UP government on Thursday issued directions to the state police to put up posters of people accused of sexual harassment and other crimes against women at famous road crossings across the state. The initiative, aimed at reducing sexual crimes against women in the state, would be undertaken under ‘Operation Durachari’.
While this step has been commendable and shows that the authority is paying heed to the situation the State, the question remains whether it is too little too late and whether the operation would be conducted with enthusiasm to implement it and make it successful or it will just be another gimmick aimed at scoring some political goodwill and mileage.