Lucknow, Oct. 2: A policeman who was part of the currently frozen Anti-Romeo Squad, formed to prevent sexual harassment in public places, has been arrested on the charge of attempting to rape a six-year-old girl in his outpost.
Sub-inspector Tejvir Singh was allegedly caught in the act by the girl's older playmates on Saturday morning but, her family said, the police initially refused to accept the complaint.
A case was eventually registered under public pressure last evening, more than 24 hours after the alleged incident at the Bhanwaraka outpost of Kemri police station in Rampur district, around 350km northwest of Lucknow.
Singh was suspended, arrested and sent to jail custody after the villagers demonstrated and the local media flashed the news.
Police sources said Singh had previously been with the Anti-Romeo Squad, formed with much fanfare by Yogi Adityanath immediately after taking charge as chief minister in March.
The squad's functioning was suspended in July following complaints that it was acting moral police and harassing couples in streets and parks. The police are holding sensitisation sessions for the squad's former officers and plan to re-launch it soon as the Nari Suraksha Bal.
Villagers said that Singh had seen the girl playing outside her home with a couple of older boys, aged 10 to 12. He beckoned to her and gave her some money to get him a pack of cigarettes from a nearby shop.
"When she returned with the cigarettes, he took her to a room inside the outpost and began misbehaving with her," the girl's grandfather told reporters.