The police in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh district recently filed an FIR against a Samajwadi Party-linked outfit for putting up posters of former BJP leaders following a govt order directing the local police to put up images of sexual predators at road crossings, reports said.
The posters, which have since been taken down, reportedly carried photographs of former BJP leaders Kuldeep Singh Sengar " sentenced to life imprisonment in the Unnao rape case " and Swami Chinmayanand, who has been accused of sexual assault.
The posters also had a photograph of self-styled godman Ram Rahim with a text that read: "On the orders of chief minister, pictures of rapists have been put up in Azamgarh".
As per a News18 report, Samajwadi Party workers claimed that they hung the posters in keeping with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath's directive to put posters of those accused of sexual harassment and other crimes against women at prominent road crossings in the state.
The Samajwadi Party Yuvjan Sabha had put up some "objectionable posters" which have been removed and an FIR has been lodged in this regard, Azamgarh Superintendent of Police Sudhir Singh told news agency PTI.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav is the sitting MP from Azamgarh.
Adityanath had on Thursday directed officials to display posters of those involved in crimes against women., in a bid to curb crimes against women, and instill confidence in them, according to a spokesperson.
"The CM at a high-level meeting here on Thursday directed to put up posters of those involved in crimes against women at prominent crossings. He has also directed that those involved in such crimes should be punished by women police," the spokesperson had said.
The chief minister had said in case of any crime against a woman, police officers of the area such as the SHO and Circle Officer will be made responsible.
According to another News18 article, the Samajwadi Party had asked the Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh to put up posters of Sengar and Chinmayanand and also lashed out against the administration for failing to check crimes against women.
"We too believe that stringent action must be taken against the culprits, but let the courts do their work. Also, what happened to the 'anti-Romeo squads'? It is clear that the government is unable to curb crime against women. There should be a stringent law rather than attempt to hide failures," the report quotes Samajwadi Party MLC Sunil Singh Sajan as saying.
Posters of rape-accused BJP leader emerge in Prayagraj
According to The Indian Express, posters featuring BJP leader Shyam Krishna Dwivedi " who is also an accused in a rape case " were also put up by the Samajwadi Party in Prayagraj.
As per the report, the posters also had a picture of Adityanath and read: "When will the posters of those who are getting patronage from the government be put up?"
Based on a complaint by the police, two separate cases were lodged against Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha leader Sandeep Yadav and two-three unidentified persons at the George Town and Civil Lines police stations on Saturday, the report said.
The accused have been booked under IPC Section 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), 503 (criminal intimidation), 505 (conducing to public mischief), the report quoted a police officer as saying.
They have also been booked under the Press and Registration of Books Act as the posters and banners did not have the name of the printers, the report added.
With inputs from PTI