Parbhani: There has been an increase in complaints of ‘road Romeos’ harassing girls on the streets of Parbhani. Youths on bikes wait outside schools, colleges, coaching classes, hoping to make girls the target of their unwarranted advances. Despite repeated complaints by parents and authorities of various institutions, school and college principals say police have failed to act. One such incident took a violent turn recently. The principal of the Bharatiya Bal Vidya Mandir, Anand Deshmukh, had to go outside the gates and shoo away male bystanders. Irate youths then retaliated with casteist slurs against the principal and threw a brick at him.

Deshmukh had registered a complaint with the police. Now, the principals of 40 schools have come together and have written to district officials to take strict action against these disruptive elements, failing which they will shut down the schools. The constant presence of male youths outside educational institutions has cast a shadow on the security of girls. The youths travel triple-seat on motorcycles and chase the girls outside schools, colleges and coaching classes, as a result of which the girls are too scared to attend classes. With the impending board examinations for Classes X and XII, students and parents are both scared. A few have registered offences with police, but no action has been taken. Citizens strongly feel police should step up vigilance and confiscate the licences of these youths.

On Thursday, a group of schoolgirls in Sindhudurg, fed up of being subjected to the offensive comments of migrant labourers in Sindhudurg every day, beat the offenders with the help of local residents on Thursday. Police had failed to show up at the spot in a timely manner, so, taking matters into their own hands, aggrieved residents cornered the workers and thrashed them. The girls too joined in, hitting the youth with sticks and slippers. In further protest, they also held up traffic on the Mumbai-Goa highway, until the offending workers were arrested.