15 juveniles escape shelter home in Mukherjee Nagar

Fifteen boys from a juvenile home in Mukherjee Nagar have fled the correctional facility after creating a ruckus on Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, around 2.30 pm, a group of juveniles burned blankets and bedsheets inside the juvenile home. The fire soon spread to other parts of the home, causing the staff and other juvenile inmates to panic.

Five fire tenders were rushed to douse the fire, police said. Eyewitnesses told police that a group of juveniles assaulted other inmates in the home and also threw stones at the staff. Two welfare officers were beaten up by the juveniles, who broke the grills and fled the campus, police said.

"A group of boys used blades to injure the other inmates. Fourteen boys sustained blade wounds. These boys were taken to a hospital and discharged after being administered first-aid," a police officer said.

Sources said a fight between two groups sparked the riot-like situation in the shelter home. Officials suspect the fight to be a result of a gang rivalry.

Sources also said a group of boys had picked a fight with one of the security guards on Monday night after he stopped them from bringing in a narcotic substance.

Police said the superintendent of the juvenile home was yet to file a complaint. Till late Tuesday, the escaped juveniles were untraced. In the absence of a complaint, police said it was difficult to ascertain whether any of the absconding juveniles were involved in heinous crimes.

Two months ago, on October 6, over 30 juveniles had fled from the same shelter home after the duty officer's room on fire. The juveniles had also exploded LPG cylinders and burnt all official records in the house.

While police managed to trace 15 of them the same night, the others are still at large. Four of the juveniles who fled the house were later found to be involved in a murder case and were apprehended by the crime branch last month.

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