Lucknow, Jan 5 (PTI) The Congress women’s wing chief on Saturday accused the Uttar Pradesh police of shielding “eve-teasers and rapists” and urged Governor Ram Naik to direct Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to improve the situation.

“In every case of atrocities against women in Uttar Pradesh, the police appears to be siding with eve-teasers and rapists. They do not lodge FIRs in such cases and, when they do, they inform the accused about it,” All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev told reporters.

Referring to the recent cases of crimes against girls in Agra, Lakhimpur Kheri and Sitapur, Dev alleged that Adityanath had given a free hand to the police to give concessions to the rapists. “The much-talked-about anti-Romeo squad is harassing the innocent instead of arresting the culprits.” Asked how many women candidates would be fielded by her party in the Lok Sabha elections, she said had the Women’s Reservation Bill been passed, the question would not have arisen. She blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose party came to power with a thumping majority, for not making this happen.

Dev, however, underlined that the Congress had been giving tickets to a fair number of women candidates.

The Congress leader said her party had started a signature campaign against the prevailing law-and-order situation in the state and, in mere eight days, almost 40,000 signatures had been received.

Earlier in the day, Dev met the governor and handed over a memorandum. She said through the memorandum, the party had urged for steps to improve the situation, or else, a similar signature campaign would be started in all the development blocks and a protest would also be held in front of the chief minister’s residence.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.